CDC Mask Announcement: Three YMCAs make changes to their policies and procedures, effective immediately.
On May 13, the CDC announced fully vaccinated people can now “resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
Since then, some YMCAs have announced updates to their COVID-19 policies and procedures.
Among the first to announce policy changes is the Greater Valley YMCA, located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Y announced beginning Friday, May 14, members, program participants and staff of the Y who are fully vaccinated may utilize the facilities and participate in programs without a face mask.
This change also came after the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced that effective immediately, anyone fully vaccinated for COVID-19 is not subject to the state Mask Order, which remains in effect until 70% of Pennsylvanians are vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated is defined as:
- Two weeks after the second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
- Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The Greater Valley Y stated those who do not meet the fully vaccinated requirements are required to continue to wear a mask when inside a facility and when outdoors on the grounds when social distancing cannot be maintained. Additionally, the Y added it is counting on the integrity of the community to follow this guidance based on their vaccination status.
“The Y will continue to monitor the situation within our facilities, as well as incorporate guidance from the CDC and the Commonwealth to make adjustments as needed,” said David Fagerstrom, the president and CEO of the Greater Valley Y. “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we enter the new normal together.”
The Y will continue to complete temperature checks upon entry into the facility, maintain social distance around equipment and group exercise spaces, use a reservation system and apply enhanced cleaning practices. These additional safety precautions will remain in effect until the Pennsylvania mitigation orders have been lifted on June 1, 2021.
Another Y to announce mask mandate changes is the Ashland Area YMCA, located in Ashland, Kentucky.
Scott Campbell, the executive director of the Ashland Y, made an announcement stating those who have been fully vaccinated will no longer be required to wear a mask in the Y, confirmed by the CDC and State, effective immediately.
“We would like for everyone to please continue to be safe and respect others who still wear a mask,” said Campbell. “We will also continue our deep cleaning and sanitizing of the high touch areas.”
On May 19, the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut also released a statement regarding mask mandates.
In accordance with Governor Lamont’s decision to follow the CDC guidelines, individuals who are fully vaccinated – 2 weeks after a final Covid-19 vaccination dose – will no longer be required to wear a mask while inside the Y. Until further notice the Y will continue to require masks for staff and participants in childcare settings including those in classes or lessons with participants under the age of 12.
Members and staff who do not feel comfortable going mask-free, for any reason, are welcome to continue to wear a mask. The Y will require anyone who has not been fully vaccinated to adhere to the CDC and State guidelines, and continue to wear a mask while indoors.
The Y also noted they are waiting for additional guidance from the Department of Public Health regarding sector rules for gyms and pools, and will update policies as soon as they have more guidance.
More announcements and policy updates are expected over the next week as organizations discuss plans and the safety of staff and members moving forward. Community Rec intends to share these updates as they are released.
This article was updated May 20, 2021.