December 3, 2020
To YMCA Members,
As you are aware, the City of Medicine Hat just passed Bylaw 4637 (Face Coverings Bylaw) which comes into effect at midnight tonight. A full copy of the Bylaw can be found here.
What Does This Mean for the YMCA?
Child Care / Before & After School Care Program (B&A)
• Child Care / B&A programs are exempt from this bylaw and will continue to follow the Government guidelines established for licensed child care programs.
• Currently operating by appointment only. Masks are required by all individuals who enter the building, subject to the exceptions outlined in the Bylaw.
Downtown and South Ridge YMCAs
- The Bylaw applies to anyone entering these facilities (ages 2 and up)
- Signage will be posted on our doors
- The following individuals are exempt from wearing a mask:
- Children under 2
- Children between 2 – 8 who refuse and cannot be persuaded by a parent/guardian
- Individuals who cannot put on or remove a mask without assistance
- Individuals with mental or physical health conditions, or otherwise protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act
- Masks ARE NOT required when members are actively engaged in physical activity. To be clear, this means:
- Showers/hot tubs/steam rooms (note: social distancing must be maintained)
- Using cardio equipment
- Using weight machines or free weights
- Playing squash
- Participating in physical activities in the gymnasiums or MP rooms
- Masks ARE required as follows:
- In the lobby
- In all change rooms
- When walking through out the building
- At any time the member is not actively engaged in physical activity
How Will Staff Respond if I Refuses to Wear A Mask?
- The Bylaw states that the YMCA does not have the ability to request proof or documentation showing that an individual meets the criteria to be excluded (i.e., mental, or physical health issues). If you disclose that you are eligible for an exemption, our staff will take you at your word.
- In situations where an individual refuses to wear a mask and does not disclose that it is due to an eligible exemption, YMCA staff will:
- Ask respectfully that a mask is worn.
- Offer to provide a copy of the Face Coverings Bylaw
- Notify the General Manger, who will determine what follow up is required
- In situations that escalate where an individual is no longer acting in accordance with our Member Policies YMCA staff will:
- Remind the member of Code of Conduct and the YMCA’s zero tolerance policy for abusive and aggressive behaviour
- Ask the individual to leave the premises
- Notify the General Manager who will determine what follow up is required
We thank you for your assistance and cooperation as the YMCA pivots to incorporate this Bylaw into its day-to-day operations. We recognize that masks are a polarizing issue that many people feel quite passionately about. Regardless of personal opinions, we have full confidence that our members will continue to make responsible and kind choices that support the YMCA in its efforts to comply with the Bylaw.
Sharon Hayward, CEO