PHOTO BY JEREMY VYN / THE SPUTNIK PHOTOGRAPHY
After lifting lockdown in Brantford, the Laurier Brantford YMCA announced it would reopen as of Mar. 1. In response to revised provincial guidelines, extra safety precautions will be added to make exercising as safe as possible.
Before the second province-wide shutdown, to go to the Laurier Brantford YMCA, individuals would have to book a time slot, wear a mask when not using equipment, and sanitize the equipment they use.
With this most recent reopening, the Laurier Brantford YMCA has strengthened safety protocols to align with new public health guidelines. Currently, those attending must wear a mask at all times, including while using the equipment, and there is no access to the change rooms, in addition to the guidelines that were previously in place.
“We were just sort of trying to understand the building capacity, flow of the building, and how we can make sure we’re keeping everybody safe,” said Shannon Davis, general manager of the Laurier Brantford YMCA.
As guidelines and restrictions change, the YMCA must also change to match them.
The Laurier Brantford YMCA has also strengthened their cleaning process. Individuals must sanitize equipment before and after use.
In addition, “[staff] do a deep clean during the day and a deep clean at night,” said Davis.
Despite these enhanced safety procedures, The Sputnik took a poll of 58 students, which found 63 per cent had gone to the YMCA prior to the lockdown, and only 9 per cent had been since Mar. 1.
As well, only 28 per cent felt comfortable going to gyms during the pandemic. With the new threat of more contagious variants, it seems many are still cautious about resuming their pre-pandemic routines.
The difficulties that have come with reopening are challenging, such as limited time slots and a lack of change room storage space, but the staff are up to the test.
“We’re still kind of moving through it,” said Davis, “it kind of changes by the day right now.”
The decisions that the Laurier Brantford YMCA makes regarding reopening are informed by public health guidelines.
“We have a wonderful relationship with public health in Brantford,” said Davis.
This relationship allows them to communicate frequently on how to best keep everyone safe.
In regards to communication with students and the public, the Laurier Brantford YMCA tries to “get as much communication out as possible,” said Davis.
The staff are happy to answer questions and encourage people to visit. You can visit their website to book a gym time.