La Crosse Area YMCA staff, members required to wear masks beginning August 1

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – The La Crosse Family YMCA is announcing the requirement of mask-wearing in its facilities by members and staff beginning tomorrow, August 1, 2020.

The YMCA released the following guidelines for wearing masks:

  • Face shields cannot replace masks. You are welcome to wear a face shield but you must also wear a mask.
  • Masks need to cover your nose and mouth at all times.
  • Masks with valves are not permitted.

The YMCA also released the following exceptions for wearing masks:

  • Children under the age of 5 are not required to wear a mask.
  • Those who are actively participating in pool activities such as lap swimming, water exercise, swim lessons, and WAVE Swim Team are not required to wear a mask. However, a mask must be worn onto the pool deck and can be removed before entering the water. Spectators of pool activities must wear a mask while seated on the bleachers.
  • Masks are not required while showering. However, a mask is required immediately after showering while in the locker room areas.
  • Lifeguards and swim instructors do not need to wear a mask while working in the pool area; however, they must wear a mask in the building/locker rooms until they get onto the pool deck. Swim instructors are required to wear a face shield while they teach (because they are not able to wear a mask in the water).
  • Members and staff who are not able to wear a mask due to a medical condition are exempted from this order.
  • Masks are not required while eating or drinking.

YMCA officials ask its guests to not approach those not wearing masks, as some individuals have conditions or circumstances that would make wearing a mask difficult or dangerous.

The organization is also looking for financial support so they are able to continue providing childcare, mental health support, food for children and families, and programs designed to improve health and well-being while ensuring they are able to respond to newly emerging community needs.