JCC offers update on reopening

The Jewish Community Center has begun the process of opening its doors. Safety protocols are being put into place as the Center follows the New York state mandates for reopening.

The daycare program has been open during the pandemic in order to serve the families of essential workers. Camp JCC began on July 6. In order to run the two programs, the JCC needs to use the entire facility, indoors and out, from 6 am-5 pm daily in order to allow enough space to properly socially distance everyone, perform health checks on every person entering the building, and leaving enough time in between activities for staff to properly disinfect and clean all areas. 

The JCC’s goal is to offer programs off hours. It hopes to open the pool sometime in July in the evenings between 5-9 pm. “Due to the strict protocols we are required to follow, we are working on a plan through which we are hoping to offer socially distanced water exercise classes, as well as lap swimming, which would be done through one-hour reservations,” said Sheryl Brumer, executive director of the JCC. 

“We are thrilled to announce we just rehired our Physical Education Director Chris Ellerson, who has begun working with us creating mitigation plans to reopen the fitness center and pool,” Brummer added. “The obstacles we are dealing with are in regards to the fact that we cannot have any other programs present during the day until Camp JCC ends and we’ve had an additional week to properly clean before opening new programs during the day, bringing us to August 24.”

The pickleball league will also open in the evening on the outside tennis courts at 5 pm, which will allow people to play with appropriate social distancing. Sign-ups are required. For more information, contact Ellerson at 724-2417.
The JCC is also looking into getting permission to possibly run some of its fitness classes outdoors after 5 pm. More information will be forthcoming when available.

“Governor Cuomo just announced he will not be allowing gyms or fitness centers to open at this time due to the high risk of contamination if proper cleaning protocols are not strictly adhered to,” Brumer said. “In anticipation of this, we have purchased several EvaClean Protexus Electrostatic Spray cleaners, which is a new technology that attacks microbes and decontaminates facilities using environmentally friendly products in an extremely efficient and effective manner. We are putting together our fitness mitigation plans in the hopes that we will be ready to reopen once the governor says it’s OK.”

Brumer noted that opening the building is not an easy task: “To give you an idea of what’s involved in re-opening programs, each time permission is granted for a particular type of activity to restart we must create a mitigation health and safety plan which guarantees that everyone will be wearing the proper personal protective equipment, that we are performing health checks before anyone enters the building, that we have enough room to ensure proper social distancing, that our staff will be diligently following all of the cleaning and disinfecting guidelines put in place by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and we will fully cooperate with the Health Department in the occurrence of a contamination.

“It is definitely financially challenging, to say the least, but even more so is how overwhelming the whole process is,” she added. “However, we want you to know that our number one priority is to reopen our facilities as soon as possible and we are doing everything humanly possible in order to make this happen. We’d like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sticking with us through all of this and we are looking forward to seeing you very soon.”
For more information, contact the JCC at 724-2417.