3/16 Update to Members

The Great Miami Valley YMCA has been diligently monitoring all national and local updates surrounding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation. As mandated today by Governor Mike DeWine, all of our YMCA fitness facilities will be closed to the public starting Tuesday, March 17. We will continue to work with the health department and local physicians to determine what other actions, if any, would be prudent on our part and when it will be safe to reopen our facilities.

During this closure, you can expect regular updates from us via email, our website and our social media channels. We also invite you to take advantage of our digital fitness options found on our website at www.gmvymca.org/covid-19/digital-fitness 

How we are addressing the needs of the community

Through these trying times, the YMCA is in the position to make a difference where it matters most. Because of this we have made the decision to transition some of our YMCA branches to support first responders and other families in need with caring for their children during this crisis. They will not have to worry that their child is in a safe place, as they care for a growing number of our loved ones during this difficult time.

Moving forward, the Atrium Family YMCA, East Butler County Family YMCA, Fairfield Family YMCA and Fitton Family YMCA will transition to offering School Days Out programming to critical care providers in addition to the families we are currently serving. We are prepared to open more facilities to provide this service if the need is there. You can find more information regarding this program at www.gmvymca.org/covid-19/critical-care 

In addition, our YMCA Early Learning Centers at Atrium Family YMCA, Butler Tech and St. Peter in Chains will continue to operate as long as all Federal, State and Local government and health officials approve of us doing so.

How you can help 

As a 130 year old community anchor institution, the Great Miami Valley YMCA has weathered many adversities, from the Flood of 1913 to world wars.  In times such as these, the Y’s inherent flexibility enables innovative strategies to serve those most in need. We request our members join with us in supporting our most critical healthcare and infrastructure related employees by supporting the Y’s efforts to provide childcare to our first responders, healthcare personnel as well as utility/energy and law enforcement related fields. 

Membership fees are the foundation of the YMCA’s work and allow us to provide services to those that need us the most. While our facilities are closed, we would like you to consider continuing with your membership payments, as it will be used to continue to support our mission. Any membership fees drafted during this closure will be recognized as tax deductible gifts to the YMCA. If you are unable to do so, we will place your membership on hold during these trying times. Please contact gmvymcahelp@gmvymca.org to place your membership on hold.

Please direct any questions to the following email address: gmvymcahelp@gmvymca.org. 

We couldn’t be US without YOU. I wish you and your families all the best in health through these next few weeks. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this evolving and challenging situation. We look forward to returning to business as usual as soon as possible.

In Spirit of the Movement,

Woody Fitton

President & CEO

Great Miami Valley YMCA
 

3/13 Update Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Dear YMCA Family,

Thank you for being a loyal member of the Great Miami Valley YMCA. The health, well-being and safety of our members, participants, residents, volunteers, and staff is our top priority. Our leadership team has been monitoring the ever-changing dynamics of the COVID-19 virus and listening to the advice of Federal, State and Local government and health officials. Based on what we learn, we will be making regular adjustments to our policies, operations, and staffing models.

Thank you for your patience and commitment as we monitor and respond to this health crisis. While we don’t have all the answers today, I am committed to providing regular updates to you all. We will be adding additional information on a regular basis to this web page, which will provide updates to our policies and relevant information.

Based on what we learn from health and government officials and other YMCA’s, we are making policy and operational changes to prevent the spread of illness. More changes may come, and we will share them with you regularly. While our Ys remain open, we feel it is best to take precautions.

  • Based on the directive by the Governor of the State of Ohio, the YMCA will put processes in place to ensure there are no more than 100 people in one room at a time.
  • Special Events that typically engage more than 100 participants will be cancelled until further notice, this includes all Easter related programs and celebrations, refunds will be issued for those registered.
  • All operations related to the LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program will be suspended until further notice. Due to the nature of this program, participants may currently have compromised immune systems.
  • Part day preschool programs follow the local school schedules, and thus have suspended operations.
  • In an effort to serve working families, the YMCA will provide school days out programs and will continue to operate our Full Day Early Learning Center locations. These programs will be conducted as long as all relevant federal, state and local agencies approve of us doing so.
  • Our Spring Soccer program, scheduled to begin next week will be temporarily postponed until further notice.
  • Miracle League is scheduled to begin on April 18, we currently have no plans to suspend the season but will continue to monitor this date carefully in the coming weeks.

STOP THE SPREAD

Health officials continue to advise us to focus on the importance of being vigilant in our efforts to prevent the spread of illness. To that end, we can all immediately continue to support a healthy workplace and community by following these common-sense precautions from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds per hand. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Practice good cough and sneeze etiquette.
  • Clean and disinfect your workspace and shared work areas.
  • When appropriate, utilize conference calls or virtual meetings rather than in-person meetings.
  • The ‘elbow bump’ is the new high-five when you see a colleague or friend at the Y.
  • Stay home when you feel ill.

Across our branches and camps, we have enhanced our current cleaning protocols and are working with facility teams to ensure an appropriate level of cleaning and disinfecting supplies are onsite at each facility.

During this challenging time, we appreciate your continued patience and support. Great Miami Valley YMCA is committed to serving our community.

Again, thanks for all you do and for your loyalty to the YMCA.

In the spirit of our movement,

Woody Fitton
Chief Executive Officer
GREAT MIAMI VALLEY YMCA

 

3/10  Message to our Members about Coronavirus (COVID19)

Great Miami Valley YMCA is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone who enters our facilities. Now that Ohio is under a state of emergency, there are growing concerns about the potential spread of coronavirus. In an effort to keep you and your family healthy and prevent the spread of germs, we are sharing some important information.
 
Your Y is regularly cleaned by a local cleaning company and special care is taken by Y staff to meet quality standards in place year-round that keep our facility clean and safe. Additionally, we are encouraging everyone to do their part in helping prevent the spread of germs and viruses.
 
Hand washing remains the most effective method of preventing the spread of germs, including coronavirus. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
 
Additional everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like coronavirus, include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick until you’ve been free of fever for 24 hours.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you or a loved one are experiencing flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath, please stay home, rest and contact your medical provider.
 
Here are some additional precautions that we are initiating:

  • YMCA staff that are ill will be sent home and asked to stay out of work until they are symptom free.
  • As has been the policy, children enrolled in our preschools and child care centers are required to stay out of school a minimum of 24 hours after being deemed symptom free.
  • There are additional hand sanitizer stations throughout our YMCA for members and guests to use.
  • We are asking all members to clean equipment BEFORE and AFTER workouts, with the antibacterial spray provided.
  • We are increasing the frequency of cleaning our common areas, including door handles, fitness equipment, lockers, tables, countertops, phones, and other “high-touch” items in each Y facility.

While no one can predict with certainty how severely we will be impacted by coronavirus, we are monitoring the situation and preparing for the possibility that our daily program and work routines could be temporarily impacted if the situation significantly worsens. We will keep all members and participants updated with information as it develops.
 
Additionally, we encourage everyone to regularly check the CDC’s website for important updates and safety information. The American Academy of Pediatrics also has helpful information specific to children and families.  
 
If you have additional questions, please feel free reach out to me at wfitton@gmvymca.org.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation!
 
Woody Fitton, CEO
Great Miami Valley YMCA

3/6  Message to our Members about Coronavirus (COVID19)

A Message about Germs

The Great Miami Valley YMCA is committed to maintaining a clean and healthy environment for everyone. Colder weather always ushers in a season of colds, flu and other viruses. We ask that you partner with us to prevent the spread of germs in our Y and our community.

These general practices are in place for YMCA staff and participants in our program areas:

  1. Frequent hand washing remains the most effective method of preventing the spread of germs. Frequent hand washing and use of antibacterial hand sanitizer are encouraged and practiced throughout our programs by staff and children.
  2. Cough and sneeze etiquette is encouraged
  3. Common areas are frequently cleaned including frequent cleaning of door handles, fitness equipment, lockers, tables/countertops, phones and other common “high-touch” items in each Y facility.
  4. Sanitation stations and hand sanitizers are available in all our facilities
  5. YMCA staff, members and participants are asked to stay home when ill (and to remain home for 24 hours after symptoms have disappeared if the illness is flu-like or gastrointestinal)

For additional tips, check out the CDC website at cdc.gov. Also, let us know if you have additional suggestions to help us all stay healthy this winter.

Thanks for preserving the place where we can reach goals, make friends, and find a true sense of belonging.

Helpful info and tips to stay safe

We touch our face with our hands, including our nose, eyes, and mouth -- areas with mucous membranes, an average of 15 to 23 times an hour. Much of the time, we don't even realize we are doing it. We also touch door handles, subway poles, handrails, saltshakers, other people's hands and grocery carts. 

The good news? The steps you can take to protect yourself against the extremely low chance that you might get exposed to coronavirus in the US will also guard against the widespread outbreak we are actually experiencing here -- seasonal influenza. 

Here’s the key takeaway to avoid any virus and flu: Be intentionally hygienic in public and during interactions with others. Hand hygiene is a cornerstone of infection prevention. Effective hand hygiene requires appropriate duration and thoroughness, which should be a goal each time our hands are cleaned. 

Use soap and water for the amount of time it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. In a study on hand hygiene, the most common areas missed by hand washers were thumbs, wrists, and in between fingers.