CHICAGO (March 18, 2020) – As the national resource office for the 2,600 YMCAs across the country, YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) diligently continues to monitor the developments surrounding COVID-19 and communicate with and provide resources to the leadership of Ys across the country.
Y-USA has encouraged YMCAs to work with local health officials and other community leaders to determine how the Y can best be of service to their communities during this unprecedented time. We acknowledge that conditions are different in every community. Some Ys have been asked by local health officials to stay open and provide essential services, such as child care for children of health care workers and first responders, among others. Other Ys have been required by government officials to close. The variance in conditions community by community is why, ultimately, these must be local decisions. As more state and local governments are requiring the closing of public buildings, Y-USA has encouraged Ys to begin building plans for closing their facilities, if they haven’t already done so.
Our organization is fortunate to have strong leaders at YMCAs across the country, and Y-USA believes they are best positioned to make the right decisions for their Ys and their communities. Y-USA will continue to communicate with and provide the support needed to them during this challenging time.
We are reminding everyone to follow guidance from federal, state and local agencies, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to take measures to protect themselves, including practicing social distancing by avoiding large crowds or close contact with others, frequently washing their hands with soap and water, covering their coughs and sneezes and staying home if they do not feel well.
For nearly 170 years in our country, the YMCA has responded to the most pressing needs of our communities and the people who call them home. The COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented challenges to our organization and our service to communities. We are doing what we can right now, and we are committed to being here for communities as our country begins the tough work of recovery.