Petrolia Y ready for action

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Alex Kurial
Local Journalism Initiative

It’s back to business at the Petrolia YMCA this Friday, but not at full capacity.
The facility – which has been closed since March aside from a few outdoor programs – has been preparing the Wellness Centre for social distancing rules. Users will notice them right away when they enter with a glass barrier up around the front membership desk and the Wellness Centre desk.
Arrows on the floor will guide people in and out of the centre, and there are an increased number of hand sanitizing stations.
Several pieces of equipment designated off limits to encourage better spacing. There will also be a maximum of 20 people allowed at one time on a first come-first served basis.
The Y will be open to members only, with no guest or day passes initially available.
People must observe the town bylaw and wear a mask indoors on the way to working out, but can remove the mask while exercising.
Tracey Taylor, who manages the YMCA, says getting ready has taken a lot of work but she’s confident in the end product.
“The biggest challenge is the social distancing and being able to give people the area and the equipment to work out with that they’re used to while still maintaining distance and safety,” says Taylor.
Taylor is not too worried about long wait times due to the 20 person limit.
“We certainly understand that we’re going to have a bit of a reduced membership, so we don’t foresee that there will be any problem with people being able to work out when they want to during the day,” she says on the decision not to offer workout appointments.
For those on the fence, Taylor invites anyone to come for a visit to see the changes.
“We do understand that some people just aren’t ready to return at this point in time,” says Taylor. “But once we open they’re welcome to come in and take a look around… in order to maybe reduce their anxiety a little bit.”
One thing that won’t be opening yet though is the pool, due to safety concerns in both the water and change rooms.
“We don’t have a date yet to open the pool. We’re not really sure what that looks like in terms of social distancing,” says Taylor. “We’re not going to open the pool until we believe that it’s safe to do so.”
The outdoor fitness classes will continue to be offered as long as weather is good.
These classes require registration in case the facility needs to conduct contact tracing.
Other important changes include change rooms and showers being closed and water fountains being out of order.
Users must arrive in workout clothes with their own filled water bottle.
Washrooms will be available.