Thursday, May 20, 2021

Hello All,

Today marks exactly one year since we welcomed members back into our facilities after a nine-week shutdown during the initial months on the pandemic. Over the past 12 months, I have been amazed to see how patient, cooperative and understanding our staff and members have been as we navigated through the varying safety guidelines and recommendations.

Our Y family is quite special and working together through all of this has resulted in a remarkably successful year! From our wellness centers and group exercise classes to our summer camps and youth sports programs…we have managed to keep everyone safe and avoid any additional closures or major interruptions to our programs and services. 

As the availability of COVID-19 vaccinations continues to expand, we are currently evaluating our safety measures. We will be sure to communicate any modifications to our safety protocols as we navigate through this pandemic together. Regardless of any changes, there is still an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 in any place that engages the general public. Since the YMCA brings together a high volume of people in our centers and programs, we highly recommend keeping a safe distance from others, frequently washing hands and avoiding poorly ventilated spaces. 

We will also continue to clean and sanitize our facilities throughout the day and provide extra hand sanitizing stations for your convenience. Staff and members are still required to clean equipment between uses. We are committed to doing whatever is necessary to ensure your safety — our number one priority at the Y!
Speaking of safety, May is National Water Safety Month. Since data shows formal swim lessons cut the risk of drowning by 88 percent, we want to remove any financial barriers with the continuation of our free Safety Around Water lessons to children throughout the year. You’ll read about our May session in this newsletter. 

In addition to swim lessons, the Y encourages parents to take an active role in water safety. Here are safety tips to practice when in and around the water:

  • Supervise all water activities, never leaving a child alone. 
  • Always keep a phone near the pool to call 911 in case of an emergency. 
  • Never allow swimming in an unlit pool after dark.
  • Keep non-pool toys like wagons and tricycles away from the pool.
  • Test your child’s swim skills at the Y absolutely free.
  • Add barriers around your pool, keeping all doors and gates locked.
  • Remove inflatable toys from the pool when not in use.
  • Never permit diving in the shallow end of the pool.
  • Make sure all gates & doors to the pool area are self-closing and self-latching.

With water everywhere here in Tampa Bay, let’s work together to keep safety top of mind! Thanks for your vigilance! 

With appreciation,

Matt Mitchell 
President & CEO