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Cook County YMCA makes changes in operations regarding COVID-19

The Cook County Community YMCA is still offering childcare.  WTIP file photo.
The Cook County Community YMCA is still offering childcare. WTIP file photo.

Like so many other organizations, the Cook County YMCA announced many temporary changes this week. Branch Executive Director Emily Marshall said the YMCA is re-deploying its resources to best support the most pressing needs in the community.

Marshall said the Y is working with the city, school district, and community partners to serve parents who must work, including health care workers, first responders, and essential employees.

Marshall said the Y will also work to provide access to healthy snacks for vulnerable youth in our community. So, although the fitness center and swimming pool are closed, the Y will be offering:

  • Licensed child care for community members and essential emergency workers
  • School-age child care is available for community members and essential emergency workers March 20 and 23-27.
  • Free two-component snacks for kids available Monday - Friday right outside the YMCA entrance.
  • Shower facilities for local residents by appointment between the hours of 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday.  Shower users are asked to bring a valid ID and a towel. Call or email the Y for available times.

Director Marshall also stressed that the YMCA is committed to maintaining a healthy environment to protect staff and community members that are accessing this building. Staff is sanitizing rooms often, sanitizing showers between visitors, washing hands often, providing hand sanitizer to users, disinfecting touchpoints and supplies multiple times a day, and practicing social distancing in all areas.

In addition, the Cook County YMCA is providing a “virtual Y” option, offering online classes and ideas to stay active and engaged in the coming weeks. Check out the YMCA Facebook page for more information.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with Director Emily Marshall about the situation at the YMCA. Here’s their conversation.