HACKENSACK, N.J. -- The Greater Bergen County YMCA plans to reopen for adult and child swim lessons on Aug. 1 after a months-long hiatus due to the pandemic. 

The Y will offer both group and private swim lessons at its indoor pool, in accordance with new health and safety measures set by local, state, and national health authorities. The guidelines are designed to protect swimmers and staff, and call for more frequent cleaning and sanitizing, additional PPE for instructors, and new protocols for parents and spectators.

Due to capacity restrictions at the Y, class size will be limited and participants will be required to register online for lessons in advance. Swim lessons are offered for a one-time fee for August, and then on a convenient monthly draft structure starting in September. Financial assistance is available to qualifying individuals and families. 

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“The YMCA has been a leader in creating confident swimmers for over a century, and we’re thrilled to bring back this important program, especially during the summer when people are in the water more,” said Richard K. Gorab, President and CEO of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges. 

“We have new procedures in place for maintaining a safe environment for all our program participants, instructors, and lifeguards, and we are ready to welcome families back,” said Aquatics Director Danielle Abreu.

Some of the changes participants can expect at the Y include:

Extensive Staff Training –  Y staff members are undergoing training in the latest cleaning and disinfection protocols provided by the CDC, as well as in social distancing and virus spread reduction. In addition, all Y staff members receive training annually in child abuse prevention, first aid, CPR and workplace safety.

Health Screenings — All participants and staff will be screened before using the facility. Anyone with a temperature over 100.4 and/or exhibiting other symptoms of illness will not be permitted to attend. 

New Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures — To limit adult entry, parents and guardians will not be permitted to stay for lessons unless there is a special circumstance. Seating in the pool area will be limited to swimmers and staff.

Social Distancing — Group lessons will be held in wider areas of the pool and instructors will use class management techniques that stagger participants during activities. No equipment will be shared between swimmers.

PPE — Instructors will be required to wear face shields when in the water with swimmers. Additional PPE will be available for staff stationed at check-in and isolation areas including disposable gloves, KN95 masks, face shields and protective gowns. 

To learn more about swim lessons at the Y, visit metroymcas.org.

Reopening the Y

The Y has begun to reopen its facility and reactivate key programs in alignment with the state’s reopening plans. The Y is currently open for Child Care and Summer Day Camp programs, as well as Outdoor Fitness Classes, Personal Training by appointment, Lap Swim, and some Enrichment Classes. Visit metroymcas.org to learn more about the Y’s phased reopening approach. The Y continues to offer Virtual Programming and outreach to the community during the health crisis. 

ABOUT THE Y

Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges invests in its diverse communities to promote wellness, safety and quality of life for children, adults and seniors. Its seven branches in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hackensack, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility through an array of programs. Some 35,000 people belong to the Metro Y, which awards more than $2.8 million annually in direct and indirect financial assistance.