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Huntsville gyms preparing to deal with coronavirus

YMCA branches across North Alabama will remain open for now.

Posted: Mar 12, 2020 7:13 PM

Public health officials say one of the best ways to avoid spreading coronavirus is social distancing, but at some places, that's hard to do.

WAAY 31 spoke with staff at a Huntsville YMCA about how they're keeping people informed and health aware at the gym.

When you walk into the Downtown branch of the YMCA, you can scan your member card without having to interact with anyone.

They also have mini bottles of hand sanitizer available as you come and go.

'We have great relationships. We're just impressing on them to keep coming.... We're going to stay open, we're doing all we can," said Kevin Walker.

Kevin Walker is the executive director of the downtown branch for the YMCA.

His staff told us they've placed extra signs up and are reminding people to follow basic gym rules.

"We sent out emails initially last week encouraging hand washing, wiping down equipment before and after equipment use and good hygiene practices," said Mary Anne Swanstrom.

Mary Anne Swanstrom is the communications director for the YMCA.

She told WAAY-31 they've been ensuring members it's OK to come work out, even in groups.

But they are encouraging people to know the signs of the coronavirus so they can stay home.

"We feel the most important thing we can do right now is share information. So we're encouraging staff, members and the community to go to coronavirus.gov for the most current information about the disease," she said.

For now, the YMCA branches across North Alabama will remain open.

Swanstrom and Walker both told WAAY 31 they are in constant talks with the Alabama - Mississippi alliance of YMCA and are trying to keep a step ahead with a contingency plan already in place.

"We're in the best position going forward to where we can make sure that we have the health and wealth for our members as a top priority," said Walker.

The "Y" told us the main priority is their members and want to keep them as informed as possible.

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