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Stanly YMCA to provide care for children, sports leagues and games postponed

The spread of the coronavirus could make people stress about going to the gym and picking up dumbbells or barbells. Though sweat cannot transmit the virus, high-contact surfaces, such as gym equipment, could pose problems, according to information from medical officials from Johns Hopkins University.

Some of the best ways for people to be safe when going to work out include going during off-peak hours, making sure to wipe down equipment, keeping hands off one’s face, practicing good hygiene and staying away if sick.

To help protect against the spread of the virus, local gyms have been cleaning equipment and making changes where needed.

Stanly County Family YMCA has postponed numerous programs including all swim lessons, all group ex/raptor classes and water aerobics, TRI 101, Stanly Kids Triathlon, Raptor Room Partner in the Park.

The Stanly County Family YMCA is providing School’s Out care to current Y after school participants from 6:45 a.m. until 6 p.m., according to information posted on the Y’s website. Over the weekend, Gov. Roy Cooper suspended school for children across the state for at least two weeks.

Full-time member children can attend with no additional cost while part-time member children can attend for $15 per day. Parents are encouraged to send children with packed lunches.

The program is flexible and will be evaluated on a per-day basis.

Sports leagues, including games and practices, will be postponed and the Y says the plan will be to host the sports leagues in a few weeks. Gymnasium activities such as basketball and volleyball are suspended, though it will be open for child care space if needed and for open pickle ball free play.

Guest passes will no longer be accepted until further notice.

Towel service at the Y will be suspended starting Tuesday. This includes pool and shower towels along with sweat towels. People should bring their own towels for their use and take them home when finished. “This decision has been made for the safety of of both members and staff who handle these towels daily,” according to information posted on the Y’s website.

Group exercise classes will be limited to allow for six feet of personal space between each participant.

No new birthday parties will be scheduled and the parties currently scheduled will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

“This is a very fluid situation,” the Y said in a statement, “and we want to continue to be proactive as we make decisions to best protect our Members and staff.”

Though Gold’s Gym in Albemarle has not made any changes to its business, “we are re-evaluating on a day-to-day basis and following closely to any regulations that may come down,” said corporate wellness director Zaida McKinney.

“We do our best throughout the year to keep the gym as clean as possible, but our staff is taking even more time to do so than usual,” McKinney added.

As of March 16, there have been 33 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in North Carolina, according to the latest information from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

After reaching out to Planet Fitness in Albemarle, a corporate representative emailed saying that “team members conduct regular and thorough cleaning of all equipment, surfaces, and areas of the club and gym floor using disinfectant cleaning supplies. In addition, they regularly complete overnight cleaning of the club. We continue to closely monitor the situation as it evolves and are following guidance from health authorities and government officials.”

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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