MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The South Mountain YMCA has decided to follow the guidance of the Township's Health Department and the South Orange Maplewood School District; as the schools are closing for the next two weeks, so will the YMCA. Here follows the letter sent to all the families who are affected by this decision:
 
Dear Families, 
 
We are in a continuous state of flexibility and change during this unprecedented time. The leadership team is adjusting our practices and making decisions based on information available. As information changes, so will our practices and decisions.
 
The operational decisions we are making are in alignment with the idea of “flattening the curve” of the virus spread so that our hospital systems can be responsive to those who are sick in a timely and reasonable manner. We have a role to play in slowing the virus spread while serving the community in a healthy way. We are working with all our partners to ensure we protect at-risk populations and our YMCA members.
 
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The Y is not an entity that is required to close, however, we respect the intent of the governor’s notice regarding minimizing the spread of illness and social distancing. At the end of business today, we are closing and canceling programs and classes, including all youth programs for 2 weeks, in alignment with the local school district decision. 
 
Thank you for your patience and commitment as we monitor and respond to this health crisis. While we don’t have all the answers today, we are committed to providing regular updates to you all.

 
Immediate Changes Taking Place: Our YMCA, South Mountain YMCA has been in communication with the local health department and school districts, and the recommendation to follow the local school district closing to minimize the spread of the illness.
 
·        Based on the local school district decisions to close in preparation for Coronavirus, the YMCA facility, all programs, School Age Child Care (SACC) and Early Childhood Learning Centers (ECLC) will close at the end of business today and will remain closed for 2 weeks.
 
·       We will assess this closure on an ongoing basis.

 
The Metro Y recognizes the needs of both our members and our staff and their families. We are committed to paying our hourly staff during this time that the Y is closed. This is similar to inclement weather school closings, and the aftermath of the Hurricane Sandy storm. The Y will do our best to pay our staff until March 30, 2020 by continuing to collect membership and childcare tuition through that date. The Metro Y’s leadership will revisit this decision on an ongoing basis. 
 
We understand that some people may not want to pay during this closure. Please understand that we rely on your payment to pay our staff. If you need to change your payment, please email SMYtuition@metroymcas.org. We can only accept tuition change requests at this email address.
 
We understand that you may also be financially affected by the new Coronavirus situation. If so, the Y’s financial assistance program is here to help. Please submit an email statement explaining your financial hardship (an email is acceptable) to please email SMYtuition@metroymcas.org. We can only accept tuition change requests at this email address. We will do our best to provide you with financial assistance in the interim until things return to normal.
 
 
Kate Cestar 

Director of Marketing & Community Engagement

South Mountain & East Orange YMCA

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