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Our Path Forward: Reopening Plans and Racial Justice Initiatives

By Michelle Basham, President and CEO
June 12, 2020
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Friday, June 12, 2020

Many have acknowledged discrimination in law enforcement and are proposing legislation to reform policing policies and practices that kill Black men and women, like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Not only in Minneapolis, but across the nation and the world. As Police Chief Arradondo stated, “The Floyd family will lead me forward.”

Change is needed. And we can work together to achieve it. As a community, we must continue the work to dismantle systemic racism, and hold our elected officials and law enforcement accountable. And we must work in partnership with others to heal and rebuild our community. Our Midtown community experienced the loss of grocery and drug stores. Please continue to support our supplies drive to help provide household items critically needed for community members impacted by this tragedy.

Together with multiple partners, we are developing a comprehensive racial justice response to the murder of George Floyd. Further details about these efforts will be released in the next few weeks. Because of our commitment to responding to the basic needs of the impacted community with our distribution center and racial justice response, the Minneapolis Sports Center located adjacent to our Midtown facility will not be available for rentals or open to fitness members until September. During the summer months, we are using this space exclusively for our response to the tragic murder of George Floyd. Thank you for your understanding and support of these efforts.

Our Early Childhood Education centers at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Ecolab and YWCA Midtown have remained open to serve the children of essential workers during the pandemic. And our early learning center downtown location reopened June 8. Each center is now serving all families and we are taking multiple measures to keep children safe.

We know many of you are ready to hit the gym. Consistent with the Governor’s executive order, we are utilizing a staggered reopening approach focused on protecting the safety of our staff, members, program participants and community. This will start with our fitness centers reopening on June 22. We look forward to welcoming members back to our physical locations and have given great consideration to our reopening plan.

As we begin to reopen, we know the risks of possible COVID-19 transmission also increase. It is important that we do our part to protect ourselves and others by wearing masks, washing hands, staying six feet apart from others and staying home if we feel sick. Following guidance issued by the MN Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our detailed plans and safety protocols include a slow and phased reopening of fitness programs and services, electrostatic spraying, enhanced cleaning measures, health screenings and personal protective equipment for employees, managing for social distancing in all programming throughout the organization and requiring visitors to wear masks to help protect our neighbors and YWCA Minneapolis community. In addition, fitness center capacity is limited to 25%.

Fitness members can expect things to look different when they return. Any facility area that cannot accommodate social distancing guidelines will be temporarily closed including locker rooms, pools, pool decks, saunas, whirl and steam rooms and Kids Zone. Additionally, on-site classes and group activities including group exercise, aquatics programming, sports leagues and some one-on-one services are not currently being offered. Members will also be required to pre-register to use the facility for 90-minute intervals to allow for additional cleaning throughout the day.

While we recognize some of these changes may be inconvenient, we are confident that our thoughtful and phased approach to reopening will allow us to work together to continue to provide a welcoming and safe environment for all. Please see frequently asked questions for additional information on our plans and approach to reopening.

We look forward to restoring full operations when we can safely do so. Thank you for your patience and cooperation, and for sticking with us during this time.

Read Reopening FAQs

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