May 4, 2020 | YMCA of Bristol

Bristol, Tenn. — The YMCA of Bristol will reopen with limited services beginning Wednesday, May 6. The decision follows Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s announcement on April 28, which provided guidance for exercise facilities regarding how to safely reopen on or after May 1.

“We are taking extra precautions in our facility to ensure the health and safety of our members and staff,” said Rick Matthews, YMCA of Bristol president/CEO. “We are committed to serving the needs of our community and will continue to assist and offer support to those who need it.”

The YMCA of Bristol, in partnership with the Greater Kingsport YMCA, will provide free Emergency Child Care for essential workers and operate in accordance with state of Tennessee guidelines to accommodate exercise opportunities for members.

Phase 1 of the YMCA’s reopening will include the following safety measures:

  • The YMCA will utilize a single entry/exit point.
  • YMCA staff will receive temperature checks upon entry into the facility. Those with a temperature reading of 100 or higher will not be allowed access to the facility.
  • YMCA staff will be required to wear masks and other personal protective equipment while cleaning and interacting with members.
  • All open areas inside the YMCA have been evaluated and redesigned as necessary to help ensure social distancing between members, including limited equipment availability and capacity limits. Signage emphasizing the need for social distancing will be placed prominently throughout the facility.
  • In compliance with CDC and state of Tennessee guidelines, common gathering spaces such as coffee lounge areas, social rooms, water fountains, group exercise studios, pools, showers, saunas, stream rooms, whirlpools and gymnasiums will remain closed for the time being.

The YMCA is requesting that members adhere to the following health and safety precautions:

  • Members should stay home if they do not feel well. Members of vulnerable populations, including those with underlying health conditions, are strongly encouraged to check with their doctor prior to visiting.
  • Members, as well as YMCA staff, will be asked to complete an assessment questionnaire for COVID-19 symptoms before being allowed to access the facility. Those deemed to be at-risk will not be allowed to access the facility. 
  • Members (other than essential workers) will need to make alternative arrangements for child care services as the YMCA will be unable to provide these services during Phase 1 of the reopening process.
  • Members will be asked to bring their own water bottle. Water fountains and bottle filling stations will be unavailable.
  • Members of vulnerable populations are encouraged to wear a face covering whenever possible, especially in common areas where other members are present.
  • Members should exercise on designated equipment only and respect all signage requiring social distancing. Members must maintain 6 feet of separation between other members and YMCA staff.
  • To ensure proper social distancing, designated wellness areas will have a limited capacity. At times of full capacity, members will be asked to wait in a designated area until space is available or to return later.
  • Members should help reduce the risk of exposure by wiping down all equipment before and after use.

“We must remain positive, and together we can come out of this stronger and united,” Matthews said. “We appreciate our members who have chosen to stay with us, and we look forward to welcoming them back.”

About the Y

The YMCA remains committed to strengthening communities in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities in our nation.

For more information about the YMCA of Bristol, visit or call 423-968-3133.

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