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We know many of you have many questions on what to expect once we re-open our doors.


  • Before your first visit: At-a-glance, here’s what you need to do before you visit your YMCA facility again.
  • To download a PDF of the full list of questions and answers (FAQ), please click here
  • To read individual questions, please see below. Expand the question to see the answer by pressing the plus icon



Frequently Asked Questions


YMCA Calgary Face Mask Use Standard


Q: What is the Face Mask Use Standard?

A: Effective December 7, 2020, a face mask that covers the mouth and nose is required to access any YMCA Calgary facility, with an exception for those under the age of two.
Face masks are required throughout the facility and at all times. This includes entrances, circulation areas, stairwells, corridors, locker rooms and travel to and from the weight floor.
Face masks are encouraged on the weight floor for strength activities and between sets and must be carried with you. Masks are not recommended for high intensity exercise
or aquatic activity.

Q: Why is YMCA making this change?

A: Simply, we’re trying to keep this centre open for you. Our goal is to offer healthy and exceptional experiences. This change is in alignment with Alberta Health Services guidelines.

Q: What if I don’t want to wear a mask?

A: Face masks are mandatory to enter and utilize all YMCA facilities. We are unable to accommodate those not wishing to wear a mask. Consider this similar to our Photo ID policy – we do not allow entry to those without Photo ID. From Dec 7th, YMCA Calgary will no longer allow entry for those without face masks (for everyone over the age of two).

Q: What if I have a medical exemption?

A: If you wish to apply to the YMCA for an exemption, you will need to provide a letter from your doctor to support your situation. These will be reviewed locally by the facility General Manager, and if an exemption is given a note will be added to our entry system. Participants requesting an exemption will be required to wear a mask / stay home until exemption approval is received.

Q: What if I want to wear a face shield?

A: Our Policy requires a face mask, not a face shield. This is not an acceptable alternative. Access to a YMCA requires a face mask for everyone over the age of two.

Q: Where do I have to wear the face mask?

A: YMCA Calgary’s Face Mask Use Standard required throughout the facility, and at all times. This would include entrances, circulation areas, stairwells, corridors, locker rooms and travel to and from the weight floor. Face masks are encouraged on the weight floor for strength activities and between sets and must be carried with you. Masks are not recommended for high intensity exercise or aquatic activity.

Q: Does this YMCA Standard conform with the City of Calgary’s Bylaw?

A: This is a YMCA Calgary policy. We are in full compliance with City Bylaws and Provincial Health Guidance.

Q: How long will this last?

A: We will continue to review all our COVID-19 processes and policies (including Face Mask Use Standard, Appointments, Programming, Distancing of Equipment etc) at regular intervals, based on guidance from health authorities and industry best practices.


Safety and Physical Distancing


Q: What health authorities are YMCA Calgary taking guidance from to keep participants safe?

A: YMCA Calgary is actively monitoring and complying with all directives from Alberta Health Services, the Government of Alberta, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and other relevant health authorities.

Q: What measures have you put in place to ensure a safe environment?

A: The health, safety and protection of our members, participants, staff and volunteers is our first priority. For everyone’s protection, we’ve modified some spaces and amenities. Here are just a few of the safety measures you’ll see when you visit the Y:

  • Increased sanitization and disinfection
  • Additional hand-sanitizing stations
  • Removal of non-essential or difficult-to-clean equipment
  • Reduced capacity, by utilizing an appointment-based system for all facility access.
  • Plexi-glass barriers at Welcome, Membership and Weight Floor desks
  • Health screenings prior to entry through a digital health screening tool
  • Directional signage to control the flow of participants in certain areas of the building
  • Contactless scan-in stations
  • Physical distancing measures (including signage, floor markings and some unavailable or rotating equipment) to maintain maximum distance between users
  • Equipment usage time limits
  • Removal of lobby furniture
  • Staff available to assist you
  • YMCA Calgary has also put processes in place to inform members or participants by email or phone of health or COVID case information deemed necessary and important. This is in alignment with our core values of honesty, responsibility, caring and respect.
Q: How can I help keep the YMCA safe and clean?

A: Here are some things you can do to help:

  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well
  • Visit Health Canada for evolving information about risk factors (including travel to certain locations) and symptoms
  • Call your local public health department or 811 for direction if you have symptoms or current risk factors apply to you, or if you have questions
  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face
  • Practice cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Always wipe equipment down before and after use
  • Avoid eating in situations where hand hygiene is more difficult (eg. while working out)
  • Please use cashless forms of payment whenever possible.
  • Cash will still be accepted at YMCA Calgary
  • Be kind to each other
Q: What enhanced cleaning protocols will the Y have in place?

A: We have instituted additional and more frequent cleaning procedures following the guidance of health authorities. These include:

  • Increased frequency of high touch points (eg. door handles, elevator buttons, hand railings, light switches, toilet seats, taps)
  • Regular and documented sanitization of common area touch points
  • Employing hospital-grade disinfectant (Sany+ H202, Oxivir Plus, Vangard)
  • Electrostatic spray and fogger technology as additional steps if an area needs specific attention
  • Disinfection Kits – to support internal cleaning practices, disinfection kits have been developed and made available to staff at all our facilities
Q: What kind of Heating Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) units and air quality systems does YMCA Calgary use in its facilities?

A: YMCA Calgary facilities use centralized 100% capable outside air HVAC units with 13 MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) filtration. A MERV rating ranges from 3 to 14 with 14 being hospital-standard.

Q: Is pool water a disinfectant?

A: Chlorinated pool water is an effective disinfectant and the risk of transmission from contact with properly treated pool water is considered minimal. YMCA maintains and tests its pool water regularly.

Q: Will I have to undergo a health screening when I enter the facility?

A: All users will be asked to complete a digital COVID-19 health check through a
digital Health Screening Tool prior to entering the facility, which will include a short symptom-related questionnaire. This tool is anonymous and data is not collected or
stored. It will help you determine if it is safe for you and those in your party to be in the facility. The screening data is secure and won’t be collected or shared in any way – it’s
simply a way for you to know if the timing is right to keep you and others safe as you visit
the Y. This will be required upon each facility entry. You can access the Health Screening Tool here: www.ymcacalgary.org/screening

Q: Will I have to sign a waiver in order to access the YMCA?

A: To keep you and other safe, and so you have a clear understanding the various risks associating with participating in programs and services, YMCA Calgary is asking you to sign a one-time participation waiver. This is a requirement of entry. You can sign the waiver securely here: www.ymcacalgary.org/waiver It is strongly recommended you complete this waiver process ahead of your visit to save time upon your first re-entry.

Q: Will I have to pre-book an appointment to access the facility, amenities
or equipment?

A: To ensure we can adhere to capacity standards at all times, all users, including YMCA members, must pre-book an appointment to access YMCA facilities and to use amenities including the weight floors, the swimming pools and other areas that are available for use. This is a temporary measure to ensure we can maintain required physical distancing and also provide an engaging experience for the many people we serve. Appointments can be booked up to 72 hours in advance. www.ymcacalgary.org/appointments/


Please note:

    Q: Can I book multiple appointments in one sitting?

    A: Currently only one appointment is available per day.

Q: Do I have to wear a mask within the facility or during a workout?

A: For the safety and protection of our community, all persons must wear a face covering in an indoor public premises. The City of Calgary Bylaw 26M2020


Face coverings are not required:


  • When eating or drinking at a public premises, like a restaurant.
  • When you’re doing physical activity, like in a gym or fitness centre.
  • For children under two years of age.
  • People with disabilities or underlying medical conditions that affect their ability to wear a face covering.
  • If you are unable to place, use or remove a face covering safely without assistance.
  • If you are care-giving for or accompanying a person with a disability where wearing a face covering would hinder the accommodation of the person’s disability (for example, ability to lipread).
  • For people who have temporarily removed their face covering where doing so is necessary to provide or receive a service (for example, a visit to the dentist).


Learn more about The City of Calgary Face Covering Bylaw at calgary.ca/covid19

Q: What if I forget my mask? Will you have masks available?

A: We will have a supply of masks available for purchase in vending machines within our YMCA facilities.

Q: What if I see someone who I think looks sick at the Y?

A:Please see any YMCA staff member if you are concerned for the welfare of someone in the facility. Individuals who become symptomatic at the YMCA will be isolated and provided emergency care and transportation.

Q: Are children allowed in your facilities?

A: Child development is core to YMCA Calgary’s mission and so children remain welcome in our facilities. However, usable amenities for children accessing the facility independently may be limited depending on guidance from health authorities.

Q: How will physical distancing be managed in a child minding environment?

A: At this time we will not be offering Child Minding services. Child Minding will resume at a later date once health guidance allows.

Q: Will lounge spaces and public seating be available?

A: In compliance with health guidelines, most indoor lounge and seating spaces at YMCA facilities will be temporarily unavailable.

Q: Will Lost and Found be available?

A: Due to health guidance, lost and found items will be collected but must be disposed of each night. Please only bring what you need for your visit.

Q: How did you make the decision on what the new temporary facility hours would be?

A: YMCA considered the pre-closure usage patterns based on data and used them, along with available resources, to set the hours. We will expand hours as soon as possible.

Q: Will you have specific hours for seniors-only access?

A: In a recent member survey, we heard from seniors that they value accessing the YMCA when there is a variety of people in the facility as it helps create a stronger sense of community. Many also expressed that they like to have flexibility in the hours they can access the Y. In response, YMCA Calgary will not be creating designated seniors-only hours, but ensuring the highest levels of cleanliness throughout the facility during all operational hours.

Q: Why is South Health Campus YMCA remaining closed?

A: Alberta Health Services has determined that the Wellness Centre (which includes the YMCA) must remain closed until further notice to limit public access to the hospital. South Health Campus Only Members are welcome to use the nearby Brookfield Residential YMCA at Seton up to a maximum of six months until Dec. 31st 2020. No additional action is required to access the nearby Brookfield Residential YMCA.

Q: Will I have access to Basketball / Badminton / Pickleball / an open gymnasium?

A: These activities will be suspended until further notice.

Q: Can I play Squash or Racquetball?

A: These activities will be suspended until further notice.

Q: Can I access locker rooms?

A: Locker rooms are available for swimmers. Although locker rooms and lockers are also available for other patrons, we strongly encourage you to come dressed in your workout clothing and, where possible, change and shower at home, as recommended within the current provincial guidelines for indoor recreation.


We will be limiting the number of accessible lockers, washrooms, showers, and change room stalls in order to maintain physical distancing of users in the locker room. We encourage all patrons to leave non-essential items at home.

Q: Will water fountains be available?

A: Water fountains are not available, however bottle fillers (where possible) are available for personal use. Given the limited quantity of bottle fillers at some of our locations, we encourage all facility users to bring filled water bottles with them.

Membership and Fees


Q: Is the Calgary Flames YMCA Grade 6 Membership still available?

A: Although programming has moved online through a weekly virtual Flames Friday newsletter, this free membership supported by the Calgary Flames Foundation is still available and will be extended to expire Dec 31, 2020 for any children that began their membership after August 1, 2019. Grade 6 Memberships for 2020/2021 school year will be available as of August 1, 2020.

Q: Can I have a facility tour?

A: Download your FREE pass or self-guided tour card and see all the ways we are keeping you safe. Visit any YMCA Calgary location to go for a swim, run, use the weight floor, the gymnasium, or just say hi!

Click here

*All terms are subject to change due to evolving health and safety guidelines from relevant health authorities