Steve Clark YMCA adds safety measures as facilities reopen 



Jack Tomlinson, an employee at the Steve Clark YMCA, wipes down a piece of workout equipment on Friday. The Y reopened last week.

UPDATED, Monday, Aug. 17 

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Since reopening this summer, the YMCA on campus has been maintaining safety measures to try to protect visitors from the COVID-19.

As members enter the Steve Clark YMCA, they’ll be greeted by front desk staff with masks and gloves. Signs encouraging social distancing mark the floor.

Thanks to a new app, members can then check into the facility with their phone, rather than punching in their PIN on a keypad.

“I think we wanted to be safe and follow the guidelines that the state was putting out,” Branch Director George Sorensen said in a phone interview with the Sunflower. “Once we got the OK from the governor to be able to open then we wanted to make sure that we follow the guidelines and open up in a safe environment.”

The Y is open from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. Sorensen said the Y hopes to expand those hours at a date yet to be determined.

YMCA staff are alternating what cardio equipment is available each day, but all equipment is back on the floor and is able to be used currently.

“Let’s say today’s an even day so all the even equipment is able to be used and then it will switch over,” Sorensen said. “So, tomorrow the equipment that’s not used today would be used tomorrow.”

With an increased focus on sanitation, the Y is providing cleaning products and towels for members to carry around and use on equipment as they move around the facility. Members are still required to bring their own sweat and shower towels for personal use.

While most of the workout space is open, some areas and equipment are prohibited due to safety guidelines. The track reopened this summer.

“We have certain pieces of equipment that we’ve taken off of the floor that would be equipment that was handled a lot,” Sorensen said.

Members are now allowed in locker rooms, basketball gyms and group exercise rooms, which is a change from March. The YMCA is also hosting group exercise classes but they are limited to 15 participants in each room.

Members now have to wear facemasks in order to enter and leave but will not be required while working out. Members must also wear a facemask in the basketball area when they are not physically playing in a game. Employees are also required to wear facemasks but must also undergo a wellness check before each shift.

There is currently no limit on the number of members allowed in the Y at any given time. Sorensen said he doesn’t expect that to change.

“It’s really more about the social distancing for us here at the Steve Clark YMCA,” he said. “With the hours that we’re open, we’ve seen a good flow of members coming in but not massive numbers coming in.”

The Y is placing reminders throughout the facility about social distancing and other guidelines for members to follow when using equipment.