At Retro Fitness, we have mandatory cleanliness standards that must be met throughout the year to provide you safe and pleasant workout experience. However, we recognize that the flu season presents a higher level of sensitivity as it relates to the spread of germs, and even more so with the current concerns around the Coronavirus.
Research has shown that these viruses are not spread through sweat and that the gym environment does not pose a greater risk of infection than other public establishments. As a matter of fact, experts continue to place a strong emphasis on exercise and a healthy lifestyle to boost the body’s defenses.
That said, in addition to our best in class practices, we have also implemented the following mandates across all Retro Fitness locations for even greater protection for our members and staff:
• Deep cleaning of facilities no less than 2x per day.
• Use of hospital grade cleansers to fight germ spreading microorganisms.
• Hourly checks to ensure all hand cleansers, wipes, paper towels, and other cleaning products are fully stocked.
• Clearly posted information for members on how they can reduce the spread of germs during their workout.
We encourage you to continue your workout journey with us. It will allow you to reduce stress, stay focused on your goals, and increase your immune system. Along the way, we pledge to keep you informed of any updates until the flu season and Coronavirus concerns have subsided.
Dear valued Y member,
During this unprecedented time as COVID-19 spreads in New Jersey and throughout the U.S., we are committed to maintaining a healthy environment and supporting the health of our community. As of today, we remain open to serve you. Our leadership staff is adjusting our practices and making decisions based on the information available. As information changes, so will our practices and decisions. We evaluate recommendations from the state, local health department and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We appreciate your flexibility and grace.
As always, the health and safety of our staff, members and participants remain our top priority.
Here is what the Y is doing to protect you, our staff, and all members and participants, as of today:
• Group sporting events draw people from multiple communities, and could potentially include guests traveling from communities where the virus currently poses a health risk. Therefore, in order to reduce the local risk of exposure, we have decided to cancel swim meets and basketball tournaments at our Y facilities until further notice.
• We have enhanced our cleaning protocols to give focused attention to all surfaces, equipment, and common areas. We are actively reinforcing the preventative measures outlined by the CDC and ensuring that hand sanitizing stations and wipes to clean equipment continue to be available in all our facilities. We recognize the potential to run out of supplies as cleaning and sanitization products are on backorder.
• We are reminding parents of our Program Illness Policy in child care and afterschool programs and are appropriately incorporating CDC preventative measures.
• We ask that anyone who has recently traveled from a country that has been identified as a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice to please refrain from visiting the Y and follow the CDC guidelines.
• If your child or another member of your household attends a school or organization that has closed due to possible exposure to the coronavirus, please have all family members refrain from visiting the Y until that organization re-opens.
• Our management team is eliminating in-person meetings that involve individuals from multiple branches and have limited employee travel between branches.
• Employee business travel has also been suspended until further notice. In addition, all of our employees will be required to notify their supervisor if their personal travel will include travel to a CDC designated Level 3 or Level 4 country. If it comes to our attention that a staff member has traveled to one of these countries, management would impose a self-quarantine.
Our Fitness Centers and Pools
We understand that the news about this virus is fluid and this can create some anxiety and hesitation around going to public places, including gyms.
Regular exercise is one component of a healthy lifestyle that can help reduce stress and prevent illness during the flu season. While we would love to see you at the Y, we honor and respect each individual’s choice with regard to your health. If you are practicing social distancing, we support this decision and have a variety of at-home exercise options for you to try.
It is generally safe to go swimming during this period. You will still need to practice good hygiene outside of the pool. According to the CDC, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operating, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.
Our Child Care Centers and After-School Programs
Metro Y’s executive leadership team recognizes the needs of our child care families and staff. We are committed to paying our hourly staff during this time. Similar to inclement weather school closings, and Hurricane Sandy storm, the Y will collect child care tuition if your child’s school district closes. The Metro Y executive leadership will revisit this procedure on a daily basis.
We are working with each school district to find reasonable solutions for care when your school district closes. As new information is provided, we will keep you informed about our operational procedures for child care and after-care.
The Y is here to help you in need. If you have been affected financially by COVID-19, the YMCA’s financial assistance program can help. Please apply for financial assistance by submitting a written statement to Y staff, and we will provide assistance in the interim.
Maintaining a Healthy Environment
Health officials continue to advise us on the importance of being vigilant in our efforts to prevent the spread of illness. We can all immediately continue to support a healthy Y and community by following these common-sense precautions:
• 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.
• Wipe down equipment and weights after use and be extra thorough.
• The ’elbow bump’ is your new high-five if you see a friend at the Y.
• Stay home when you feel ill or have been exposed to the virus.
o If your child or another member of your household attends a school or organization that has closed due to possible exposure to the coronavirus, please have all family members refrain from visiting the Y until that organization re-opens.
o If you have recently traveled from a country that has been identified as a Level 3 & 4 Travel Health Notice, please refrain from visiting the Y and follow the CDC guidelines.
What do you do when you see a member not wipe down their machine?
We ask all members to thoroughly wipe down the machine they used with the supplied sanitation wipes or spray bottle and paper towel. If you observe a member who forgot to clean their machine, please let a staff member know. We ask that you treat each other with respect and care regardless of race and national origin. Thank you for working with us to ensure our YMCA community is safe and welcoming.
You can find additional resources and information on the Coronavirus here:
• Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is providing regular updates and have information readily available about the virus.
• U.S. State Department issues advisories for travel.
• New Jersey Department of Public Health has statewide information and overviews of how NJ is handling the virus.
Thank you for working with us to ensure the health of your fellow members, our YMCA, and the community. We look forward to seeing you soon.
We ask that you wash or sanitize your hands when entering our clinic. Hand sanitizer and/or soap will be provided in every office.
Additionally, we recommend following the CDC’s guidelines below:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then discard the tissue
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Stay home when you are sick, except to seek medical care
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Please join us in remaining calm, diligent, and proactive.
– Your team at Excel Physical Therapy