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YMCA Calgary Updates and FAQ

 

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YMCA Update - September 22, 2021

 

YMCA Calgary is aware of the recommendation by the Chief Medical Officer of Health for recreation facilities to closely examine their protocols regarding unvaccinated youth engaging in recreational activities within their facilities. YMCA Calgary has considered our current decisions and processes (below) to determine if any changes are necessary or advised.

 

We have chosen to exceed the minimum protocols required under the provincial Restrictions Exemption Program (REP).

 

Our approach remains to require full vaccination for all participants 12+ in our facilities. This is in alignment with a new City of Calgary bylaw which includes recreation facilities, including YMCAs. It's also in concert with many other large recreation providers in the city, including the City of Calgary, our largest recreation partner. Finally, our approach follows recommendations from Dr. Kirsten Fiest, an epidemiologist with a focus on children’s health YMCA Calgary has retained to advise us.

 

This decision will help provide clarity and ensure consistency for people using our services. Most importantly, this decision will best protect the whole YMCA Calgary community, our key responsibility as a health and wellness organization.

 

We know this will not please some parents who have chosen not to have their 12-17 year old children vaccinated. However, we encourage you to choose vaccination to protect your family and others so you may enjoy the full benefits of the community, including participation at the YMCA.

 

Please see below for a list of FAQs and expectations for YMCA facility and program access. It also contains information on membership or program refunds.

 

We ask everyone to be kind, particularly to our front-line staff and volunteers, who are doing their very best every day to provide safe and meaningful experiences to Calgarians.

 

 

YMCA Update - September 16, 2021 - New Government Restrictions

 

To our YMCA community,

 

YMCA Calgary welcomes the broader suite of restrictions announced by the Government of Alberta on Wednesday September 15 to keep our community safe during this serious 4th wave.

 

YMCA Calgary will be participating in the Government of Alberta’s Restrictions Exemption Program.

 

 

Here’s what you need to know:

 

Programs and Activities:

All our programs and activities will proceed unchanged and as planned at this time. We are happy we can continue to provide these exceptional experiences and services to you. We are also maintaining existing controls, including masking and health screening, as well as adding some new ones:

 

Mandatory Vaccinations:

1. Beginning Monday September 20, 2021, Proof of vaccination status for those aged 12+ will be required to access any YMCA Calgary facility, service or program (indoors and outdoors)

 

  • From Sept 20 to Oct 25: Anyone 12+ looking to access a YMCA facility, service or program must have received at least one dose of a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Proof of a single dose is acceptable as long as the dose was given more than two weeks before time of entry to a YMCA facility.
  • From Oct 25 onward: Anyone 12+ looking to access a YMCA facility, service or program must have received two doses of a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccines.

 

Checking Vaccination Records:

Right now, there are several options people 12+ can use to prove vaccination status.

 

  • Paper: Immunization records received at immunization appointments OR Paper card printable from MyHealth Records app
  • Digital: Records shown from MyHealth Records app or website OR a screenshot of immunization records received at immunization appointments

 

2. YMCA Calgary will be implementing a mandatory vaccination policy that will apply to staff, volunteers and contractors.

 

  • To protect the health and safety of the YMCA community, it is now required that all YMCA Calgary employees, volunteers and contractors be fully vaccinated by no later than October 25, a date in alignment with the Government of Alberta’s Restrictions Exemption Program.

 

COVID-19 Tests:

YMCA Calgary will NOT be accepting any COVID-19 test results in lieu of vaccine status. We do not have the capacity or expertise to determine the validity of medical test results.

 

Vaccine Exemptions:

We are currently developing a process to manage requests for medical exemptions. While we are building this process, exemptions will not be provided. However, we are committed to doing this quickly, so that we can work with our community to determine accommodations as appropriate.

 

Please refer to the full FAQs regarding these changes and other measures currently in place to keep our staff, volunteers, members and participants safe.

 

Click here to read our updated Frequently Asked Questions for more information about this operational change

 

More information will be forthcoming. Please watch your email, ymcacalgary.org and our social media channels for more updates.

 

Thank you to everyone for your continued commitment to the YMCA.

 

PS. We know our community has been through a lot as the pandemic wears on. This has been particularly challenging for young people. YMCA is offering a FREE program to help. Y Mind is a FREE 7-week introductory mental wellness program designed to help teens(13-18Y) and young adults(18-30Y) build valuable skills for coping with stress and anxiety. This program will be offered in-person (or online if required by government health restrictions)

 

Click here to learn more about Y MIND

 

Four Steps to Access the YMCA


Sign the Waiver
If you previously completed this waiver, you are not required to re-sign it.
Click here to sign the waiver

Vaccination Documentation
You are required to show
Vaccination Documentation
every visit

Check the Capacity
Ensure the activity space you intend on visiting can accommodate your visit.
Check the Capacity for your YMCA location

Health Screening
Required for every visit
Complete an online health screening

 

 

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Hours of Operation

Branch Hours M-F Hours Sat & Sun
Brookfield Residential YMCA at Seton & Shane Homes at Rocky Ridge YMCA 5:30am - 10:00pm 7:00am - 8:00pm
Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot, Shawnessy YMCA, Remington YMCA in Quarry Park 6:30am - 7:30pm 7:00am - 1:30pm
Saddletowne YMCA 11:30am - 7:30pm 9:00am - 3:30pm (Saturday only, Closed Sunday)
South Health Campus YMCA Closed until further notice Closed until further notice

 

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What will I be able to do at the Y?

We are so excited to welcome you back to your Y! There are many activities and fitness programs for you to do at your YMCA.

 

This includes:
  • Fitness Centre and Basketball drop-in
  • Lane Swim and Recreational Swim drop-in
  • Fitness and yoga classes (by appointment): Registration is live now. Click here to register online!
  • Registered swim lessons and programs: Registration is live now. Click here to register online!
  • Gymnasium appointments (1 hour Pickleball, 1 hour Badminton and Family Open Gym)
  • Calgary Flames Grade 6 in-person and virtual Activities

 

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Fitness (Indoors & Outdoors)

Fitness Centre’s

Appointments are not required for visiting our Fitness Centre’s, however it is important to check the available capacity of the location you intend to visit ahead of time to ensure that you can be accommodated.

 

Personal Training Sessions

Enhance your workout 60-minute training sessions. Choose from a package of 5, 10, 15, or 20 sessions. A certified trainer will monitor technique and ensure your program includes the right combination of exercises and duration to give you the results you want. Click here to register

 

View the capacity at your preferred YMCA location now

 

Outdoor Bootcamp

Meet your fitness goals with this multi-level bootcamp. Challenge your strength, endurance, balance, agility, coordination and speed with drills that include multiple options suited to your fitness level.

 

Click here to register

 

Gentle Fitness (Indoors & Outdoors)

Gently improve your strength, endurance, mobility and stability without the stress on your joints. This total body, low-impact workout combines resistance, balance and gentle cardio exercises using standing, seated and mat exercises on the ground.

 

Click here to register

 

Outdoor Walk Fit

This low impact workout will combine walking, strength and balance exercises as we trek together along sidewalks and pathways. Perfect for those who desire a gentler approach to fitness while enjoying the outdoors and social connections.

 

Click here to register

 

Yoga (Indoors & Outdoors)

Find your inner strength and balance as you de-stress in this calming outdoor yoga class. You will improve your flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness through a series of breathing exercises and yoga poses.

 

Click here to register

 

Interval Training

Get the ultimate workout with Interval Training! Challenge and improve your cardiovascular fitness, balance, core strength and muscular endurance in this dynamic, high-energy workout by doing intervals and using a variety of equipment.

 

Click here to register

 

Group Cycle

Up your cycling skills! Come prepared for a cardiovascular workout that emphasizes proper form, technique and safety. Challenge your endurance and stamina with hills, climbs, sprints and more on an indoor cycling bike. This 45 minute class takes place indoors in our fitness studios.

 

Click here to register

 

Full Body Strength

Get strong! In this weight-training class, you will use a variety of equipment and techniques for a total body workout. Instructors will lead you through a resistance class developing your strength and endurance. There will be a strong emphasis on the proper execution of movements.

 

Click here to register

 

Zumba

Join this energetic dance class! Zumba cardio dance mixes high- and low-intensity movesusing the rhythms of Latin and world music. You will raise your fitness level in a fun, encouraging atmosphere. No dance experience is required.

 

Click here to register

 

Deep Water Fitness

Join this highly effective low-impact water workout! Using a buoyancy belt in deep water, your head will stay above the surface during various cardio and resistance exercises. This classis perfect for those with injuries or limitations. Confidence in deep water is required.

 

Click here to register

 

Shallow Water Fitness

Use the water’s resistance to your advantage. This class will challenge your muscular and cardiovascular endurance while improving balance, stability and flexibility. Classes take place in the shallow end of the pool. Swimming ability is not required.

 

Click here to register
Swimming

 

Lane Swim

Appointments are not required for visiting our Lane Swimming, however it is important to check the available capacity of the location you intend to visit ahead of time to ensure that you can be accommodated.

 

View the capacity at your preferred YMCA location now

 

Recreational Swim

Appointments are not required for visiting our Recreational Swimming, however it is important to check the available capacity of the location you intend to visit ahead of time to ensure that you can be accommodated.

 

View the capacity at your preferred YMCA location now
Gymnasium

 

Pickleball

Come try Pickleball! A sport which combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis all in one! Book a 1-hour appointment in the Gymansium. ONE individual books a court and can bring up to 5 others with them to occupy that court during the timeslot. Total of 6 participants per court per appointment max. Names of additional participants will be added during the appointment booking process.

 

Click here to register

 

Badminton

Try your hand at badminton! Book a 1-hour appointment in the Gymansium. ONE individual books a court and can bring up to 5 others with them to occupy that court during the timeslot. Total of 6 participants per court per appointment max. Names of additional participants will be added during the appointment booking process.

 

Click here to register

 

Family Open Gym

Family Gym provides opportunities for family members and groups to engage in play and physical activity. Activities are self directed allowing adults, children and youth to utilize gymnasiums for games, skill development and fun. ONE individual books and can bring up to 5 others with them to occupy that space during the appointment. Total of 6 participants per appointment max. Names of additional participants will be added during the appointment booking process.

 

Click here to register

 

 

Youth Registered Programs

We are excited to be bringing youth programming at your Y! Look forward to registering your youth to swim, sport and art programs with reduced class sizes and personalized instruction. These programs are targeted to youth of the ages 5-14 and all skill levels are welcome!

 

Click here to see what is being offered at your YMCA location

 

Calgary Flames Grade 6 Activities

We are excited to offer Calgary Flames Grade 6 activities live and in person in a safe and fun outdoor environment and a virtual at home experience. This free membership supported by the Calgary Flames Foundation is still available and will be extended to expire Dec 31, 2021 for any children that began their membership after August 1, 2020. Grade 6 Memberships for 2021/2022 school year will be available as of August 1, 2021. Programming will return to in-person in the coming weeks and months with some virtual resources also being offered. For more information on our Calgary Flames Grade 6 activities, visit our online portal below.

 

Click here to register and join a Grade 6 activity

 

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General FAQ

 

Effective Monday, September 20th YMCA Calgary will be participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program. Current YMCA controls meet or exceed all new requirements for youth programming, swim lessons, and access to our pools and fitness centres. These activities will continue unchanged. What will change is access for those aged 12+, who will now be required to show vaccine status to enter our facilities to access that programming.

 

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

 

Restrictions Exemption Program FAQ

Q: What will I need to access the facility?

A: Beginning Monday Sept 20, 2021, Proof of vaccination status for those aged 12+ will be required to access any YMCA Calgary facility, service or program (indoors and outdoors)

 

  • From Sept 20th to Oct 25: Anyone 12+ looking to access a YMCA facility service or program must have received at least one dose of a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Proof of a single dose is acceptable as long as the dose was given more than two weeks before time of YMCA entry.
  • From Oct 25 onward: Anyone 12+ looking to access a YMCA facility service or program must have received two doses of a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccines.

 

In addition, they will be required to wear a mask (following existing YMCA Face Mask Policy) and complete the Digital Health Screen (“green screen”)

Q: What is Proof of Vaccination Status?

A: Right now, there are several options people 12+ can use to prove vaccination status:

  • Paper: Immunization records received at immunization appointments
  • Technology: Records shown from MyHealth Records app or website
  • Printable card: Paper card printable from MyHealth Records app

Q: Will you accept a COVID-19 test result?

A: YMCA Calgary will NOT be accepting any rapid test results in lieu of vaccine status. We do not have the capacity or expertise to determine the validity of a rapid test result. In addition, tests can range in price from $40 each to as high as $150 for each test per visit. This high cost could pose a considerable financial barrier to individuals or families that cannot afford that additional cost which is contrary to YMCA Calgary’s approach to providing community experiences to the widest range of people possible.

Q: What about an exemption?

A: We are currently developing a process to manage requests for medical exemptions. While we are building this process, exemptions will not be provided. However, we are committed to doing this quickly, so that we can work with our community to determine accommodations as appropriate.

Q: Are your staff and volunteers vaccinated?

A: YMCA Calgary will be implementing a mandatory vaccination policy that will apply to staff, volunteers and contractors.

 

To protect the health and safety of the YMCA community, it is now required that all YMCA Calgary employees, volunteers and contractors be fully vaccinated by no later than October 25th, a date in alignment with the Government of Alberta’s Restrictions Exemption Program.

Q: Do I have to show vaccine status every time?

A: Yes, at this time proof will be required for each visit. In time we hope to develop systems to streamline access, using existing membership technology and government-developed verification systems.

Q: Will YMCA Calgary keep my vaccination health record safe?

A: YMCA Calgary is participating in the Government of Alberta’s Restriction Exemptions Program which, while it requires us to do a visual inspection of vaccinations status, does not require us to collect, store or share any private information. None of those actions are a part of our procedures.

 

We will only be performing a visual check of:
  • Paper: Immunization records received at immunization appointments OR paper card printable from MyHealth Records app
  • Digital: Records shown from MyHealth Records app or website OR a screenshot of immunization records received at immunization appointments
  • The just-released wallet-sized COVID-19 Immunization Record on paper or screen shot. albertavaccinerecord.ca

 

If you would like to review our privacy policy, you can find it here: www.ymcacalgary.org/legal/

Q: Is there a way to speed up access?

A: Quick, easy access is available for those with four things on arrival:

  • A membership card or program access card to scan
  • A copy of your vaccine status
  • A completed health screen (the “green screen”)
  • A face mask

Q: Will I still have to where a mask?

A: YMCA Calgary’s Face Mask Policy remains in effect: Masks are required in all program areas at the YMCA, both indoors and outdoors. If your activity level becomes uncomfortable and you need to remove your mask, please ensure you are maintaining appropriate physical distance.

Q: What about other controls?

A: All existing controls remain in effect, including limitations on capacity, increased physical distancing and enhanced cleaning.

Q: What about rental groups?

A: Rental groups will be required to ensure their participants and instructors / staff follow all regulations specified in the Restrictions Exemption Program, including proof of vaccine status for those aged 12+. We will be contacting all out rental groups directly with more information.

Q: How do I to cancel my membership / programs / rental?

A: No cancellation fees will be charged for those unable or unwilling to meet the proof of vaccine status requirements. Please contact Member Services if you wish to make changes.

 

Health and Safety

Q: Do I again need to wear a mask at the YMCA?

A: Masks are required in all program areas at the YMCA, both indoors and outdoors. If your activity level becomes uncomfortable and you need to remove your mask, please ensure you are maintaining appropriate physical distance.

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

A: We will have a supply of free disposable masks available (while supplies last) or masks will be available for purchase in vending machines within our YMCA facilities.

Q: Why do I have to wear a mask at the Y when I don’t in some other public places?

A: YMCA Calgary is a wellness organization. Our first priority is the health and safety of staff, volunteers, members and participants. The decision to implement mask use at the YMCA was made for the following reasons:

  • YMCA serves people of all ages and abilities. This includes many children under 12. Those children have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Despite some relaxations of precautions, our community remains in a pandemic, so we are taking steps to keep everyone safe

Q: Do I need to complete a Digital Health Screen?

A: All YMCA Calgary Members and participants will be asked to complete this short digital COVID-19 health screening upon arrival. This tool will help you determine if it is safe for you and those in your party to participate. 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 it is safe for you and others to participate. This tool is available in six languages including English, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Punjabi and Tagalog. You can access the tool here: https://www.ymcacalgary.org/screening/

Q: Will I need to Physically Distance from others?

A: Physical distancing of two metres will be required. Capacity limitations will remain in place to allow participants more space if they wish. Equipment on the Weight Floor will be reopened to allow a greater capacity, and we encourage users to respect other participants.

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, and many modifications remain in place. 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 in all activity areas utilizing an appointment-based system for access to Fitness Classes and court sports in the Gymnasium
  • Plexi-glass barriers at Welcome, Membership and Weight Floor desks
  • Recommended health screening 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 to encourage distance between users

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
  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Practice cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Always wipe equipment down before and after use
  • Avoid eating in situations where hand hygiene is more difficult (e.g. while working out)
  • Use cashless forms of payment whenever possible.
  • Be kind to each other, and our staff team
Q: What enhanced cleaning protocols will the Y have in place?

A: We have maintained additional and more frequent cleaning procedures as best practice. These include:

  • Increased frequency of high touch points (e.g. 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)

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 recommended you complete this waiver process ahead of your visit to save time upon your first re-entry. If you completed this waiver at any time previously, you are not required to re-sign it.

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.

 

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Facility Hours and Access FAQ

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.

Q: When will you be offering Swimming Lessons and other Registered Program?

A: Registration for swim lessons and other registered programs is live now and begin on September 13th. To view availability and to register online please visit https://ymcacalgary.force.com/.

Q: Are you offering Personal Training?

A: Yes, personal training is available now. Please inquire on the weight floor.

Q: Will I require a swim test before I use the pool?

A: All children ages 13 years and younger must participate in a swimming skills assessment and will be provided a coloured wristband based on their age and swimming ability. As always, children between the ages 0-7 must stay within arms-reach of a caregiver at all times.

Q: Will I have access to YMCA towels?

A: Towels will remain available to Membership Extra members and available for rental.

Q: Are water fountains available?

A: Yes, Water fountains and bottle fillers (where possible) are available to 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.

 

Appointments and Capacity

Q: Will I need an appointment to use the Y?

A: Appointments will not be required for:

  • Lane swim
  • Recreational swim
  • Access to our fitness centre
  • Drop-in basketball
  Appointments will be required for:
  • Fitness classes
  • Court sports (such as badminton and pickleball)

Q: Why do you have capacity limits in place?

A: Managing capacity, to allow physical distancing and a safe environment for all participants, remains an essential part of how we keep our YMCAs safe and accessible.

Q: How will you manage capacity?

A: All program areas have a maximum capacity. Headcounts each thirty minutes will ensure we maintain within those limits. Occasionally, if we do reach capacity, that amenity area will close to new participants until space opens up.

Q: How do I know if a space is full / closed?

A: Real-time information will be provided though a simple “traffic light system” tool at www.ymcacalgary.org/capacity

 

Green: Capacity is under 75%, you are welcome to join us
Orange: Capacity is over 75%, amenity is likely to close within an hour
Red: Capacity is at 100%, amenity is closed – please check back later

 

We encourage those visiting a YMCA at peak times to check this tool before arrival. Our busiest times are weekday afternoons / early evenings, and weekends from 10am – 4pm.

Q: What is the capacity in your facilities?

A: Facility and amenity capacity limits vary and are dependent on size, design, as well as the activity and programming in the space. We adjust capacity limits at regular intervals for operational reasons, but aim to provide the right balance of space (so physical distancing is possible) and numbers (to reduce wait times, and allow more of the community to access the facility). We encourage you to check our Online Capacity Tool at www.ymcacalgary.org/capacity for real time data on our aquatic and weight floor areas.

Q: Will you always be full?

A: Some areas and some locations see greater demand that others. Our aquatic areas at the Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge and the Brookfield Residential YMCA at Seton frequently reached capacity prior to the pandemic. It is likely that we will reach capacity on occasion, and we encourage visitors to check our capacity tool before leaving home for a visit. If you arrive and the amenity is closed, we will inform you before you check-in. You will have the option to wait until space opens up, or return at another time. We realize that visiting a ‘full’ amenity area could be frustrating, but we have also heard from you that maintaining an appointment-based system widely was also a challenge. We hope by providing real-time information about when facilities and amenity areas are open / nearly full / at capacity, we can prevent you from not accessing a YMCA amenity at the time you choose.

 

Membership and Fees FAQ

Q: When did my membership resume?

A: All current memberships resumed on June 28, 2021 unless you requested a cancellation. Our normal suspension and cancellation policies remain in effect. Please contact Member Services if you wish to discuss further. Phone lines remain very busy, and we could encourage you to contact your branch by email – individual branch email addresses can be found here.

Q: Can I have a facility tour?

A: Yes, facility tours are available. Please inquire at any YMCA membership desk.

Q: I am having problems with my online Membership account. What can I do to remedy my issues and can someone help me?

A: Having any issues using the online portal? Please click the links below to watch a short video detailing how to correctly create your account for active members and non-members. Additional support for use of our online portal can found by emailing portalsupport@calgary.ymca.ca
  How to create an account on our online portal

 

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

 

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