As we gradually reopen, some of the first changes you will experience are indicators for healthy physical distancing, the spacing of fitness equipment, ample access to hand sanitizer and sanitizer stations, and significant disinfecting of equipment and activity areas throughout the day. As well, we will deliberately phase in areas and amenities of low risk as we grow back to full capacity.

Our Commitment to Safety

Openings and Activities

All open branch locations will have the following operating hours:

  • Monday - Friday: 6 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Sunday: Closed

Please use provided hand sanitizer prior to entering the Y.

Members are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in common areas.

Now Open!

At this time our goal is to be open by August 3 at these Y locations

Note: The Cora McCorvey YMCA will be moving to the Harold Mezile YMCA in North Minneapolis in early fall 2020.

Staying Safe Together

The information below is subject to change at any time. To ensure members’ health and safety, as well as the enjoyment of our facilities, we are implementing the following safety protocols to reduce health risks to our members, program participants, and staff.

What the Y is Doing

  • Personal Protective Equipment for All Staff: All staff will be required to wear masks.
  • Self-Scan: Members will be asked to self-scan to allow for limited contact entry.
  • Designed for Social Distance by Physical Distance: All open areas inside the Y have been evaluated and redesigned where necessary to help to help social distancing by physical distancing between members. Signage will be placed prominently throughout the facility to drive awareness of this requirement. 
  • Cleaning: In addition to sanitizing equipment by staff every two hours and the request of our members to wipe down equipment after use, the facility and equipment will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected each day by using products and processes in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency.

How We're Asking Members to Help Maintain Safety

Y staff will be stationed throughout the facility to assist with cleaning disinfecting equipment and to answer questions regarding new guidelines. The YMCA appreciates members’ adherence to the following safety precautions during their visits:

  • Stay Home If You’re Sick: Members should stay home if they don’t feel well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health officials encourage seniors and members of vulnerable populations, including those with underlying health conditions, to stay at home.
  • Keep the Kids at Home: We are unable to provide Kids Stuff at this time and recommend you not bring children and other family members with you as common area seating will be extremely limited.
  • Bring a Towel, a Mask, and a Water Bottle: Members will be asked to bring their own water bottle and a workout towel (towel services will not be provided). The Y also requests that members bring a mask and wear it whenever possible, especially in common areas where other members are present.
  • Keep Your Distance: Please exercise on designated equipment only and respect all signage regarding social distancing. Strive to maintain at least six feet between you and others whenever possible.
  • Expect Reduced Capacity: We may have limited capacity due to government and health department guidelines. To ensure proper social distancing by physical distancing, our wellness areas will have a limited capacity.
  • Remember to Wipe Down Equipment: Please help us reduce the risk of exposure by wiping down all equipment, weights, etc. with the provided cleaning materials.

YMCA Reopening Guidelines & FAQs

Click question to expand answer.


Will Pools Be Open?

Lap Pools

Lap pools at the following locations are open:

  • Andover YMCA
  • Blaisdell YMCA
  • Burnsville YMCA
  • Eagan YMCA
  • Elk River YMCA
  • Emma B. Howe Northtown Family YMCA
  • Forest Lake YMCA
  • Hastings YMCA
  • Hudson, WI YMCA
  • New Hope YMCA
  • Ridgedale YMCA
  • Rochester YMCA
  • St. Paul Eastside YMCA
  • St. Paul Midway YMCA
  • Shoreview YMCA
  • Southdale YMCA
  • White Bear Area YMCA
  • Woodbury YMCA

Pool schedules for each location can be found here.

Leisure Pools

Leisure Pools at the following locations are open:

  • Andover YMCA
  • Burnsville YMCA
  • Eagan YMCA
  • Elk River YMCA
  • Emma B. Howe Northtown Family YMCA
  • Forest Lake YMCA
  • Hudson, WI YMCA
  • Rochester YMCA
  • St. Paul Eastside YMCA
  • St. Paul Midway YMCA
  • Woodbury YMCA

Leisure pool schedule at all locations:

  • 6:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Adult  use only
  • 10:30 a.m. – Close – Family open swim

Pool schedules for each location can be found here.

Vortex Pools

Vortex pools are open without current at the following locations:

  • St. Paul Midway

Outdoor Pools

The following splash pools are open:

  • Shoreview YMCA
  • White Bear Area YMCA

The 50 meter outdoor pool at the Shoreview YMCA is scheduled to open on July 13.

What changes can I expect in the pool area?
  • Pool occupancy will be limited to a location-specific capacity and will be first-come, first serve.
  • A minimum of 6 feet physical distance will be required. 
  • Our pools will be open and dedicated to lap swim, water exercise, individual workouts and open family swim at this time. Vortex pools will be open, but will not have current.
  • Maximum of two people per lap lane will be required at this time. 
  • Maximum of two people in the Vortex pool (where applicable) will be adhered to at this time.
  • All members must shower prior to pool use. 
  • Hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms are temporarily closed. 
  • Swim testing will be available, with wristbands available at Member Services.
  • Limited pool equipment will be available and varies by location. 
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols of high touch areas will happen. 
  • Waterslides and features are temporarily closed. 
  • We are not currently offering swim team, swim lessons and other programming because of capacity restrictions from government and health officials. As capacity restrictions are increased from 25 percent, we will be able to offer additional important swim programs for our community.   
Will Y Splash Decks be open?

Splash Decks are now open. Please check with your local Fitness & Wellness Center for details.

  • Elk River YMCA – Now open!
  • Emma B. Howe Northtown YMCA - Now open!
  • Forest Lake YMCA – Now open!
  • New Hope YMCA – Now open!
  • Shoreview YMCA – Now open!
  • White Bear Lake YMCA – Now open!
Do I need to bring my own lifejacket or other aquatic equipment?

Yes. The YMCA will not be providing lifejackets or other pool equipment at this time. Please bring your own lifejackets, goggles, fins, swim belts or other equipment you may need for your visit.

Do I need to sign up for a Water exercise class?
  • No, all water exercise classes are first-come, first serve. Participants are to pick up a WEX pass at the check-in desk to ensure spot in class
  • For a list of all Water exercise class offerings, please visit our website or our Y App.
What are you doing to ensure the pool area is safe and clean?
  • Consistent cleaning of high-touch points – railings, ladders, door handles and seating areas will happen.
  • Pool seating will be spaced 6 feet apart. 
  • Shared pool equipment will be temporarily unavailable for member use.
What do parents need to know about Family Open Swim?

During Family Open Swim, parents will be asked to be present on the pool deck when anyone under the age of 16 is swimming. The Y won’t be able to provide lifejackets or other pool toys, but you are welcome to provide your own.

Are Swim Lessons Available?

Swim Lessons will begin July 20.

  • Group Swim Lessons are available July 20 - August 30. Online registration is now available. You can register at any time starting July 7. Accelerated lessons are available throughout the summer.
  • Small Group Swim Lessons also begin July 20. Learn more about this program, and how to register, here.
  • Private Swim lessons can also be scheduled to begin on or after July 20 and you can find more details on the program and how to register here.

Cleaning Protocols

What can I expect for facility cleaning?
  • Stringent sanitation protocols for proper disinfection, operation and maintenance continue to be followed as well as additional procedures to achieve a new level of cleanliness.  
  • Continuous scheduled disinfection of high-touch surfaces throughout the YMCA will occur.
  • Facility hours are adjusted to allow for overnight deep cleaning
  • Staff is receiving ongoing training on cleaning protocols.
  • Easy, readily available equipment disinfectant spray is available for use.
  • Hand-sanitizing stations for you to use are conveniently located throughout the Y. 
Have Y locations been deep-cleaned?

All YMCA locations have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Facility Guidelines & Procedures

What changes will I see when I come back to the Y?

New Facility Hours

  • Monday through Friday:  6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Saturday:  8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Sunday:  Closed

Aquatics and Fitness Wristband Policy

  • Wristbands will be available for Youth Fitness/Swim Tests at the front desk only in a no-contact transfer.

Business and Program Transactions

  • All membership and program business transactions should be conducted online or by phone.

Facility Capacity Limits

  • Expect reduced capacity, and remember to observe recommendations to stay physically distanced from others.
  • Building occupancy will be limited to a location-specific capacity and will be first-come, first serve.

Facility Time Limits

  • Member access is limited to 60 minutes (1 hour).

Social Distancing Practices to Physical Distance

  • One-way indoor traffic patterns are implemented where possible.
  • Spacing markers are on floors and seating to keep everyone 6 feet apart.
  • Increased spacing between equipment and within workout areas allows for appropriate social distancing.

Expect to Arrive 15 Minutes Before Classes/Pool Usage for Health Screen and Check In

  • Access to the facility will be via self check-in with no on-site transactions.
  • Health screening will be required for all people entering facility. Those entering must pass screening and assent to abide by physical distancing protocols. Screening protocols to include the following questions:
    • Have you or anyone in your house traveled to another country in the last 14 days?
    • Within the last 14 days, has someone in your household tested positive for COVID-19?
    • Are you currently experiencing any symptoms of illness?
    • Do you have any concerns with abiding by our new guidelines which include practicing physical distancing, increased cleaning and monitoring your health while at the Y?
Do I have to wear a mask?

We are recommending, but not requiring, that masks be worn in common areas, during your workout or while exiting. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, masks are a primary tool in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What if I forget my mask. Do you have masks available?

The Y does not provide masks for members.

Is there a maximum time allowed per member visit?

Yes, member visit times are limited to 60 minutes (1 hour) per day.

What areas of the facility are open with restrictions?
  • Lobby
  • Restrooms
  • Locker Rooms
  • Wellness/Fitness Center
  • Studios
  • Pools
  • Walking Track (if applicable)
  • Racquetball/Handball Court (if applicable)
  • Outdoor Trails
  • Roof Top Studio/Deck (if applicable)
What areas of the Y will be closed?

To ensure safety, a number of areas will be temporarily closed, including:

  • Lobby and community seating areas. Some of our seating will be removed and other seating will be physically spaced.
  • Coffee stations
  • Hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms
  • Playgrounds will be available for Y programs only
  • Aquatic play features/waterslide
  • Indoor play scape/ zone will be available for Y programs only
  • Youth rooms 
  • Skate parks
  • Climbing walls  
  • Healthy Living Kitchen (if applicable)
  • Massage/acupuncture (if applicable)
What programs and activities will be available?
  • YMCA360 and other virtual Y At Home programs
  • Limited Group Exercise classes
  • Limited ForeverWell Programs
  • Early Childhood and on-site School Age Child Care Programs (requires pre-registration)
  • Food Distribution Program
  • Summer Programs
Can I hang out and socialize before or after my workout/pool use?
  • While we understand that connecting with others is an integral part of the Y experience, we also have to balance that with our need to be safe. 
  • We have removed community seating areas and are asking members to limit their workout time to one hour to allow other members to access the facility. 
  • Members are more than welcome to continue visiting outside of the Y at a safe distance.
Will I need to pre-register to access the Y?

No, building occupancy will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

At what age can a youth use the YMCA on their own?

Youth can be unaccompanied at the Y when they are 10 years old.

What should I bring to the Y?
  • Please bring a mask, workout towel, water bottle and yoga mat, if needed. 
  • We ask that you wear a mask whenever possible, especially in common areas where other members are present.
I put my membership on hold, how do I reactivate it?
I want to come back to the Y but I can no longer afford my membership rate, what can I do?
Are you offering alternatives for older members or those of us with underlying conditions that make it risky to go out in public

We are aware that not all members will be comfortable with returning to the Y right away. We will continue offering online resources through YMCA360 and Y At Home.

Can I bring a guest with me?

Y Members permitted only, no guests


What ForeverWell programs and classes will be available?

Initial class offerings will be limited, but may include:

  • Pickleball – singles and doubles
  • ForeverWell Balance 
  • ForeverWell Cardio
  • ForeverWell Combo
  • ForeverWell Group Cycle 
  • ForeverWell Stretch 
  • ForeverWell Strength
  • ForeverWell Water X
  • ForeverWell Yoga
  • Gentle Yoga
  • Silver Sneakers® Yoga Chair 
  • Yoga
  • Wellness Check Calls
  • Virtual Group Exercise and virtual social classes will continue. For an updated schedule, please visit or class list on YMCA App. 

Fitness/Wellness Centers

What changes can I expect on the Fitness Center Floor?
  • Equipment will be spaced, marked or alternated to meet physical distancing requirements. 
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols are occurring. 
  • Cleaning stations of disinfectant spray and wipes will be available to encourage cleaning of equipment before and after use. 
Will the cardio equipment be available?

Yes, cardio equipment will be available and can be used for up to 45 minutes.

Will free weights, weight machines and other strength training equipment be available?

Yes, members can use strength training equipment for up to 60 minutes (1 hour).

Will you be doing Youth Fitness Orientations?

Youth orientations are not offered at this time.

What are you doing to clean the cardio and strength training equipment?

Fitness center staff will circulate and sanitize machines and equipment after member use. We are also asking members to clean their own equipment before and after each use. 

Will Personal Training, Group Training and Pilates be available when you reopen?

Personal Training will be available beginning July 20, with limited equipment and adherence to physical distancing protocols. A decision for group training and pilates will be made later this summer.

Are walking tracks open?

Yes and physical distancing requirements are still expected.

Group Exercise/Studio Class

What Group Exercise classes will be offered?

Please check our Y app or website for a list of current available classes.

What changes can I expect during and after class?
  • Capacity will be limited due to physical distance requirements. 
  • A minimum of six feet physical distance will be required during class.  
  • Members should bring their own mats, towels and water bottles.
  • Masks are recommended before and after class.  
  • Class length is no more than 60 minutes (1 hour).
  • Sanitizing wipes will be located at the entrance/exit of each studio for Member use. 
  • Studios and equipment will be thoroughly cleaned after each class. 
Can I hang out and socialize after my workout?
  • While we understand that connecting with others is an integral part of the Y experience, we also have to balance that with our need to be safe. 
  • We have removed community seating areas and are asking members to limit their workout time to 60 minutes (1 hour) to allow other members to access the facility. 
  • Members are more than welcome to continue visiting outside the Y at a safe distance.
Will members be sharing equipment?

No, equipment will not be shared between participants. 

Do I need to sign up for a Group Exercise class?

No, all cycle, studio and yoga classes are first come, first serve. 

Can I save a spot for my friend?

Due to limited class size, you will only be able to select your own spot.


Will the gym be open?

Our gyms will be open with limited capacity for programs and open gym, with a limit of 2 people per basketball hoop.

Can we reserve time in the gym if it is just my immediate family?

No, not at this time. 

Will racquetball/handball courts be open for use?

Yes, the courts will be available only for groups of 1 or 2 people. Traditional doubles games will not be permitted.

Will pickleball be offered?

Pickleball will be available for single and double play.

Kids & Teens

What programs and/or areas will be available to youth when you reopen?
  • Youth are free to access our pools, group exercise classes and fitness centers. Programs such as swim lessons, swim team, youth sports, youth enrichment/development, birthday parties and Parent’s Night Out are not available at this time. These programs will be added back consistent with governmental orders and guidelines.  
  • Summer Child Care, Day Camp and Summer Sports are open! Please see our website for the most up-to-date information on Youth Programs at
Will indoor and outdoor playgrounds be open?

Our indoor and outdoor playgrounds are temporarily closed at this time. 

When is Kids Stuff Open and What Should I Expect?

Beginning July 20, Kids Stuff will open with the following hours and guidelines:


  • Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday-Saturday: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Sunday: Closed


  • 6 weeks to 10 years


  • Limited capacity will be practiced to insure safe physical distancing to abide by state and local group size guidelines.
  • Reservations are required and are available on a first-come, first-served basis; capacity is limited.
  • Kids Stuff is available to YMCA members only who are participating in on-site YMCA programs; no guests allowed at this time.
  • There is a one hour/day/child time limit.
  • Items from home are not permitted.
  • Check-In/Check-Out
    • Ages 6 weeks – 3 years: will take place in Kids Stuff room. Parents are asked to use hand sanitizer and wear a mask before entering. Children will be asked to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer immediately upon entering.
    • Ages 4 – 10 years: will take place at front desk. Parent are encouraged to bring their children to the restroom prior to check-in. Children will be asked to use hand sanitizer upon entering and before and after play.
  • Toys will be sanitized every hour on a rotational schedule. 
  • Outdoor/playground time will be available for children ages 4 – 10 years. Indoor play structures will also be available, where present.
Will the Activity Center/Youth Center/Teen Center be open?

No, these areas will be closed temporarily at this time. 

Locker Room & Towel Service

Will the locker rooms be available?

Yes, the following protocols will be put in place:

  • There will be reduced locker availability to ensure 6 feet of distance between lockers.
  • Toilet area will be open for use.
  • Sinks will be open for use.
  • Showers will be open for use.
  • Hair dryers will be unavailable.
Will towel service still be available?

Towel service for large or sweat towels will not be available.

Ways to Help Keep Each Other Safe

What can I do to help keep me and others safe?
  • If you’re feeling sick, please stay home.
  • Wipe Down Equipment
    • Use the cleaning materials provided. Wipe equipment before and after your workout.
  • Keep Your Distance
    • Respect all signs regarding social distancing to physical distance. Stay at least 6 feet away from others wherever possible.
  • Expect Reduced Capacity
    • At times of full capacity, you will be asked to wait in a designated area until space is available.
  • Wear Your Mask
    • While not required, the Y requests that members wear their masks whenever possible, especially in common areas.

Y App

The Y app is useful to have the best fitness and wellbeing experience. We’ve made lots of changes to our virtual offerings, including our app. The Y lets you:

  • Scan in at the front desk for a faster, touchless experience.
  • Find the most current schedules for group exercise
  • Keep updated on our re-opening of programs and activities
  • The app is FREE for all Members and available for iOS and Android devices