BRANCH REOPENING
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions, by category, about our reopening after the COVID-19 closure:

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP

What will your hours be when you reopen? 

Upon reopening, our branches will operate at decreased hours to allow greater time for disinfection. Plus, there will be times when we temporarily and intermittently close areas for cleaning, and these times will also be published for our members. In exchange, we are, however, committed to being open during peak hours. We will also offer special hours for members seeking time frames when masks are 100% required for all. This is a perfect time for members who are vulnerable and/or extra cautious during this pandemic. 

Branch hours can be found on branch location pages here: 

Doylestown
Quakertown
Warminster

Newtown (due to Governor Wolf’s orders related to nursing homes, our Newtown Branch, located in Chandler Hall, will reopen July 24)

Will you offer special hours for those who prefer to be in a 100% mask wearing environment, even when exercising?  

Yes, we will provide special hours for those who prefer to only be in the facility when EVERYONE is masked. These hours are: 

Doylestown: M-F 8AM-9AM and 7PM-8PM; S&S 11AM-12PM
Quakertown: M-F 8AM-9AM and 7PM-8PM; S&S 11AM-12PM
Warminster: M-F 8AM-9AM and 7PM-8PM; S&S 11AM-12PM

Newtown (opening July 24): M-F 8AM-9AM; S&S 11AM-12PM

When are masks required when at the Y?

On July 1, Governor Wolf expanded mask-wearing requirements, making it mandatory that all PA residents wear a mask anytime they leave home. In hearing this news, we contacted Bucks County Department of Health and upon their recommendation are amending our safety protocols regarding masks. Please note, the guidelines below are subject to change. 

Mask Protocol While Inside the Facility:

  • All members must wear a mask upon entering the facility
  • Masks are to remain on throughout facility usage and especially within common areas such as the fitness center, studios, locker rooms, pool decks, hallways, etc.
  • Masks may be removed when exercising on a piece of equipment, but only if the member can do so while socially distant. For example: If one member is “spotting” another member while weightlifting, both members must be wearing masks. 
  • Masks are to be removed upon entering the pool and are to remain off during pool usage.
  • Indoor athletics are now paused as this physical activity cannot be performed safely while wearing a mask.

Mask Protocol While Outside the Facility:

  • Masks are not required to be worn when outside the facility and socially distant.
    • For example: Campers and Camp Counselors, while outside and socially distant, do not need to wear a mask. Upon entering the facility, masks are to be worn.
    • Members participating in outdoor group exercise classes, and remain socially distant, do not need to wear a mask.

There are no changes to child care and camp mask-wearing protocols at this time.


Usually youth age 12 can access the Y without a parent. Why can’t my child, age 12, visit the Y to swim and use the fitness center? 

Due to the serious nature of maintaining social distancing, cleaning equipment before/after use, as well as new capacity requirements, Y staff agreed that 13 years of age was most appropriate to access independently at this time. We will continually be evaluating our protocols and modifying when necessary.  

If I don’t pass the entry health check, what happens? 

If any member of your family does not pass the health check, you will not be allowed to enter the Y at that time and for the next consecutive three days. This policy is based on state and local guidelines. To avoid being turned away at the Y, we strongly encourage all members to take their individual temperature prior to departing for the Y. Also, please do not come to the Y if you are not feeling well or know you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive COVID-19. This is our best defense to preventing COVID-19 from penetrating the Y.

Why is my visit limited to 45-minutes or 60-minutes? 

In adhering to capacity guidelines, these limitations allow greater opportunity for all members to achieve health and well-being.  Class participation and pool usage is limited to 45-minutes. Fitness center usage is limited to 60-minutes.

Are guests or members from other YMCAs permitted? 

In the launch of our reopening plan, we are prioritizing the experience of our members. As we move through the summer, we will reevaluate national reciprocity as well as outside guests. 

I live between two branches and usually visit both. Am I limited to my home branch only? 

No, you are free to use any branch of YMCA of Bucks County as long as you use your home branch at least 50% of the time.  

What happens if I arrive and you are full at 50% of occupancy?

As most of our programming is outside and/or on reservation systems, we do not believe we will exceed building capacity. In the unlikely event that you arrive to the Y and we are at capacity, you’ll be asked to wait in a queue before entry. This is also why we’ll be enforcing the 45-minute rule while capacity guidelines are in place. 

You won’t have a lost and found.  What if I lose something at the Y? 

We are encouraging members to bring as little as possible into the Y during these early steps of reopening. Any lost items will be discarded and/or donated. 

Why do I have to sign a new waiver? 

Times have obviously changed. Our waivers did not include many key policies that have now become necessary in our ‘new normal’ such as remaining home when unwell, cleaning equipment before and after use, social distancing, etc. The new waiver is available on our website <HERE> and we strongly encourage you to execute the waiver before visiting the branch for the first time after reopening.  

The waiver webpage includes an overview of changes to our policies and safety protocols. 

Who has to sign the waiver? 

Just one adult member of each household needs to execute the waiver. In the case of membership for minors, a parent or legal guardian would sign the waiver for the child or teen. 

Why aren’t you opening everything when you open the branch? 

Our goal is to reopen a safe facility following guidelines provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, CDC and Bucks County Health Department. We will continue to reinstate programs and services as we are able and will communicate these changes as they happen.

What should I do if I see members not social distancing? Or not wiping down equipment? 

We appreciate everyone’s adherence to our protocols as well as their care and consideration for fellow Y members. If you have any concerns when in our branches, please seek one of our new Health & Safety Champions, easily identified by the shirts they wear, or ask at the Welcome Center to speak with a branch leader. 

Are locker rooms opened? 

Yes, locker rooms are opened with safe social distancing requirements in place. Similar to our fitness center equipment, we have also provided spray bottles outside of the showers for members to disinfect latches on the stalls and shower handles after use.

Is the Skatepark in Doylestown open? 

The skatepark is only able to be used in conjunction with a program, like summer camp. It is closed to general member use until we receive approval to open from Governor Wolf’s office.  

Will you close again if there is a resurgence of COVID-19? 

We will always follow local, state and federal regulations. Should there be a resurgence of COVID-19 and we are required to close, we will.

What happens if someone who works at or visits the Y is diagnosed with COVID-19?

If an individual is diagnosed with a confirmed test of COVID-19, they must remain out of the facility for a minimum of 14 days including 3 days of no symptoms. Furthermore, they must provide an isolation release letter from the Bucks County Department of Health. We will provide medical freezes and/or refunds for anyone who is impacted by COVID-19 and cannot access the facility.

Per Bucks County Department of Health: Once a Bucks County resident has tested positive, they are interviewed by someone from this department.  An isolation letter is sent via email, stating that they are hereby ordered into isolation, and must remain in their home until released by the Department.  The family members are to remain quarantined on the property until released by this Department.  An isolation and quarantine release letter is sent via email by this Department when it is determined that the isolation or quarantine is completed. YMCA of Bucks County may not allow any person who was in isolation or quarantine to enter camp, child care, or the pool unless they provide the isolation or quarantine release letter from Bucks County Department of Health.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 after visiting any branch of YMCA of Bucks County, please notify Janet Felder, vice-president of human resources, at jfelder@ymcabucks.org or 215.348.8131, X1113. 

Why isn’t Fairless Hills mentioned in your communications? 

Construction and expansion at the Fairless Hills branch has been accelerated to begin now. The branch will remain closed but programming will be offered in a “Y Beyond Walls” format. Read full details <HERE

I have a question about my membership, who do I contact?

For questions regarding your membership, please complete the webform found <HERE> or call your home branch. Branch phone numbers can be found on the location page of the website.

Doylestown
Newtown
Quakertown
Warminster

When will we reopen with regular programming and building amenities? 

We hope to move to our normal schedule and offerings with the Fall I session in September. This, of course, will be based on CDC and PA state guidelines.

AQUATICS

How do I make a reservation to lap swim? 

We will be utilizing our MindBody software as our reservation system during this time: 

Doylestown <CLICK HERE>
Holland Pool <CLICK HERE>
Quakertown <CLICK HERE>

Instructions for the general use of MindBody can be found online <HERE>

When I make a reservation to lap swim, how many people will share my lane? 

There will be one lap swimmer per lane. However, if two members are from the same household, we will permit two members per lane. Only one member will need to register on-line, the second member of the household is to be placed in the note section. There will be a small list of policies that lap swimmers will agree to and lifeguards will enforce when reopening. To best serve all, members may not exceed three aquatic reservations per week; this will be strictly enforced. 

Membership Lap Swimming: Member registration will be required for lap swimming; one swimmer per lane at all times. However, if two members are from the same household, we will permit two members per lane. Only one member will need to register online, the second member of the household is to be placed in the note section    

Membership Aquatic Group Exercise: Low impact aquatic group exercise will be conducted with required registration and social distancing of one person per 100 sq.ft to be enforced; CDC does not recommend wearing a mask during aquatic programming

Membership Open/Family Swim: Member registration will be required for family open swim. The minimum distance required between families is six (6) feet on all sides

Do I check-in with a Y staff member when I arrive onto the pool deck?

That would be helpful, yes. A Health and Safety Champion will be there to assist you to your lane and or pool space. 

Similar to summer’s past, our pools will continue to close for camp usage and especially during COVID-19 when capacity guidelines must be followed. 

When will water exercise classes return?

We hope to provide aquatic group exercise classes after evaluation of pool usage in our initial stages of reopening. Please note, lane reservations can be used for water walking, aqua jogging, etc. We anticipate returning to our regular schedule of offerings in Fall. 

When will group swim lessons return?  

We project offering group swim lessons again in Fall I, which is currently scheduled to begin August 31.  

What about private swim lessons?
Yes, we will offer private swim lessons (and personal training). These programs are set to launch early July, 2020. 

Why can you offer private swim lessons but not group swim lessons? 

By their nature, private swim lessons involve one instructor, working one-on-one with a student. This structure allows us to adhere to social distancing and greater CDC protocols. Limiting programming to private swim lessons will also allow us to limit the number of observing parents in the building who, even when not participating in programs count toward our building capacity quota. 

When will the swim team, gymnastic team and youth leagues resume? 

We anticipate team programming to return with our Fall I session. 

When will recreational swim, slides and water elements reopen? 

Recreational swim, slides and water elements will reopen on a reservation system upon reopening of the branch. Please look for family swim times. 

Why is the chlorine so high? 

Bucks County Health Department requirements for pool chemicals have recently changed in light of the coronavirus pandemic. You may notice an increase in chlorine levels because of this. 

Previous chlorine levels were kept at around 3-3.5ppm; the pool chlorine level will now be maintained at 5-8ppm.  Swimming in highly chlorinated water can cause burning and itchy eyes, skin irritation and more. Those who have an increased sensitivity to high chlorine levels should refrain from using Y pools until this requirement is reverted to normal levels. 

Is the whirlpool open in Doylestown?

Yes, the whirlpool will be open in Doylestown. Reservations not required, however all members must maintain appropriate social distancing. 

Is the sauna open in Doylestown and Quakertown?

Unfortunately, due to the small size of the room, therefore making social distancing difficult, we will not be opening the sauna in our initial reopening phase. 

GROUP EXERCISE CLASSES

What will be offered in the way of group exercise classes? 

Classes will be held indoors (low impact), outdoors (high impact), and will continue through our virtual offerings.  

Virtual classes
Virtual group exercise class registration can be found <HERE

In-person classes
Schedules for the entire association can be found <HERE>

Reservation system for indoor and outdoor group exercise classes Participation in both indoor and outdoor classes requires signing-up via our reservation system. We will be utilizing our MindBody software as our reservation system during this time: 

Doylestown <CLICK HERE>
Fairless Hills <CLICK HERE>
Quakertown <CLICK HERE>
Warminster <CLICK HERE>

Instructions for the general use of Mind Body can be found online <HERE>

Policies for in-person, indoor and outdoor, group exercise after July 1:

  • All members must register for classes, beginning the Friday of the previous week and up until 8PM the night before the class. 
  • Classes without a minimum of 5 registered attendees will be cancelled after 8PM the previous evening.
  • Maximums will be in place and we ask that you limit your registrations to 3/week.
  • Non-equipment based classes will allow drop-ins within 5 minutes of class starting (if a registered participant does not arrive for class)
  • Classes without a minimum of 5 registered attendees will be cancelled
  • In the case of inclement weather, outdoor classes will move to a virtual format. Please check our website prior to departing for the Y for alerts at ymcabucks.org. 
  • Cancellations for early morning classes will be announced by 8PM the previous evening. Cancellations for evening classes will be announced by 12PM that day. Cancellations will be based on the hourly forecast with 50% and higher chance of rain being the benchmark.

Why do I have to register in advance for group exercise class? 

Based on new capacity guidelines, we need to limit the number of participants in a class, especially when held indoors.

Why are you not offering spin? 

As spin is a high impact class, in a smaller sized studio, with social distancing nearly impossible, we do not deem it safe to offer spin during our initial reopening phase. Quakertown will be offering spin outside as its facility is designed for this offering. 

Can I just drop-in?

Although drop-ins are discouraged, if you are in the facility and wish to spontaneously try a class, drop-ins will be allowed for classes that do not require equipment and after 5 minutes of the class starting. Please understand that if all pre-registered attendees attend a class up to the maximum, drop-ins will not be permitted. Furthermore, if after the 5 minutes you join a class, only for the pre-registered member to arrive, you will then be kindly asked to leave the class. 

Are the online, group exercise classes still free? 

Our new online, group exercise classes are free to members with family, adult and teen memberships. 

What about Les Mills online? 

Les Mills provided their services for free during the pandemic closures. Once we reopen our branches, their services will no longer be complimentary. 


CAMP AND CHILD CARE

Will children be in the building as part of the summer camp program? 

Yes, there will be times, depending on location, when children will be in the branch as part of their summer camp activities. We have developed protocols for camp counselors to follow which will limit their indoor access to gymnasium and studios while providing “safe travel” between spaces and activities. 

Why can children attend camp but not workout in the branch? 

Camp is supervised by a camp counselor at all times. While not at camp, children ages 12 and younger can access the gymnasium and pool, however similar to the camp counselor - under the guidance of a parent/guardian. 

The Y, as a fitness center, is more limited in what we can offer. Even playgrounds will be off-limits except in conjunction with camp and child care programs. Based on what we can offer and our limited capacity requirements, we did need to put limitations on ages for these few weeks. 

Can I cross enroll my child at different camps? For example, my daughter would like to do cheer at Quakertown and Sports Frenzy in Doylestown on different weeks. 

Yes, children may enroll in camps at different locations.

If I am a member at the Doylestown branch but enrolled my child in camp at the Quakertown branch, can I workout there after I drop off? 

Yes, you may use any branch of YMCA of Bucks County as long as you use your home branch at least 50% of the time. 



OTHERS 

When can I book a birthday party? 

Parties and events are under the approval of Governor Wolf’s phasing plan. At this time, parties and events are discouraged. We will continually stay abreast of changes in state and local guidelines.

I volunteer with the Y. Can that resume when you reopen? 

We will reexamine volunteers after the first few weeks of our reopening plan. 

Will you be running the 7th Grade Initiative? When can I register my child? 

We hope to, but again, this will be dependent on school district practices, possible COVID-19 fall resurgence, and required facility age guidelines to protect all members.  

How frequently will the facility be cleaned/sanitized?

Throughout the day and nightly, our facilities will be sanitized. Our facilities will also be sanitized during our weekday, midday closures.

What is an Electrostatic Sprayer? 

The Electrostatic Sprayer applies disinfectants to a variety of surfaces and is highly effective in killing and disinfecting both bacteria and viruses. It will be used during our midday and nightly cleaning. Although the Electrostatic Sprayers are helpful, frequent handwashing and/or hand sanitizing remains a better defense to COVID-19. 

Will you have the Kids Triathlon this year in Doylestown?

We have not yet made a decision on this annual event. Please watch for announcements in our email communication and website.