Alabaster YMCA reopens with precautions in place

ALABASTER –The Alabaster branch of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham was among those that reopened Monday, June 1, with measures in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The day marked the beginning of the YMCA’s Phase 1 plan for reopening. There is no timeline for how long Phase 1 will last, said Executive Director of Membership Operations Cindy Reams, but officials will continue to make decisions based on federal and state recommendations.

“Everyone is so excited about coming back,” Reams said.

Visitors will encounter one of those employees before they even enter the facility.

A station is set up outside the front door, where a staff member will check the temperature of those wishing to enter. The staff member will also be equipped with a Chromebook, which will be used to check reservations.

Reservations are required for all members wishing to participate in a group exercise class or use the pool.

The process is easiest if members utilize the YMCA app. The app allows members to easily make reservations for a group exercise class or pool lap lane, and pull up a barcode that they can scan for entry.

If a member does not have the app and cannot scan the barcode, one will be generated for them at the front door station.

Staff members will be required to wear masks and will be checked for elevated temperatures before allowed to begin their shifts.

Group exercise classes will now be held in the gymnasium because it allows for the largest number of people to participate while maintaining distancing requirements.

Still, the space is limited to 27 people, so making reservations early is important.

Reservations can be made up to 36 hours in advance of the class, Reams said.

Some general use exercise equipment is roped off to ensure members stay 6 feet apart while exercising.

There are also multiple cleaning stations near the equipment, and members are asked to clean the equipment after each use.

Other changes included locker rooms being closed, Learn and Play programs being unavailable, children and guests not being allowed, and members being asked to also “scan out” as they leave the facility so that capacity can be maintained.

“This is just temporary, and it’s for the safety of all our members and employees,” Reams said.

The YMCA’s hours during Phase 1 of reopening will be from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and closed Sunday.

For more information, visit YMCABham.org/reopen.