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Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA reopens

Members are happy to get their workouts in, and are happy about new restrictions in place aimed to keep folks safe.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Daniel Rivera says the one thing he missed the most during the COVID-19 crisis was his workouts at the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA on South Franklin Street.

"Because I became a couch potato," Rivera laughed. "The only worry I had was when I come back over here, 'will I be able to fit through the door?' That's how much weight I've put on."

Lauranel Banks, wellness director at the Y says the place will look a little different than it did before the crisis.

"We socially distance all of our equipment by shutting down every other piece of cardio equipment. We have markings on the floor that also help guide you around that area," Banks said.

Masks are not required in this part of the YMCA, but to continue to help "stop the spread," the YMCA implemented something called a "directional breath barrier," so that people breathing heavily and working out on the machines don't affect people walking through.

"We also did the same thing in our spin room and in our group exercise studio and we know exactly how many people we can fit in each part of the Y so that they will be safe while they are working out," said Banks.

People re-entering the Y will get their temperature checked and need to fill out some paperwork. They will also be given their own sanitizer bottle to use while in the wellness center.

"Traditionally, they would have to go to a station to get the bottle and if someone grabbed the bottle, they've now touched that bottle so this way you get your own bottle and we can disinfect it before giving it to the next person," Banks said.

"It's good to be safe, you know? They've got it covered here. I feel good, you know? I feel safe," Rivera added.

There are special hours for the YMCA for seniors and many classes are still available virtually.