Local YMCA branches to reopen to members June 1 

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

The YMCA of Greater Birmingham will reopen its branches to members on Monday, June 1, nearly two months after the COVID-19 outbreak prompted facility closures.

The organization, which operates three locations in Shelby County, announced it is taking a phased approach to reopening all of its branches to ensure the safety of employees and members.

“As we carefully plan for the doors to open, we are following the guidance and recommendations of the CDC, Jefferson County Health Department and UAB’s medical and public health experts,” YMCA of Greater Birmingham President and CEO Dan Pile wrote in an email. “And, we are listening to you. Having read many of your comments, I am clear that you will partner with us in efforts to maintain a safe and healthy YMCA.”

In phase one of reopening, the YMCA will offer facility access under social distancing and reduced capacity requirements, and requests that members limit their indoor facility time to one hour where possible.

Members will have access to fitness/wellness spaces and equipment, cardio equipment (members are asked to limit use to 30 minutes per piece), 45-minute group exercise classes with a reservation, the indoor running/walking track, the pool (45-minute independent lane use by reservation), virtual live and recorded Group X classes, and tennis courts (lessons and single/doubles play).

The following programs and services are suspended in phase one: towel, coffee, learn and play, drop and go, parent’s night out, facility rentals and parties, personal and group training, youth sports, swim lessons, swim team, water aerobics, free swim, pool deck lounging, showers (locker rooms are available, just no showers per orders pertaining to fitness centers), programming designed specifically for active older adults, and individual or group basketball and pickleball.

Members should bring their own towels and water bottles.

Masks and face coverings are not required, but the YMCA requests that members wear them whenever possible, especially in common areas.

Members should expect a touchless temperature check at each visit, make sure they have reserved a spot for any class in which they wish to participate, make sure they have reserved a spot for lap swimming and make sure they have their barcode ready to scan upon arrival.

In addition, members are asked to adhere to the following rules at each facility:

  • Use the cleaning materials provided to wipe down equipment before and after a workout.
  • Respect all signs regarding social distancing and stay at least 6 feet away from others wherever possible.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Keep children at home, as the YMCA is currently unable to provide youth or preschool services.

For instructions on how to register for a class or pool lap lane, go to Ymcabham.org/reopen.

Branch hours for the Alabaster, Pelham, Greystone and other locations will be 5 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday.

“Together, members and staff members must commit to the new safety precautions to make this work,” Pile wrote. “Be sure to also follow our social media updates on Twitter BirminghamYMCA, Instagram @ymcabham and Facebook YMCA of Greater Birmingham.”