The Duluth Area Family YMCA and Superior Douglas County YMCA have released a statement to members, detailing a closure of their gym facilities to the public and how they will serve the community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In short, their gym facilities will close to the public starting on March 18. They will turn to offering child care services to health care workers, emergency responders, and other essential workers to alleviate the need for child care while schools are closed. They indicate that they hope to be open at a full-service level once again by March 30, but admit that the situation is fluid and this date may change depending on what happens.

Here is the full statement from Sara Cole, the CEO of the Duluth Area Family YMCA and Chris Stenberg, the CEO of the Superior Douglas County YMCA:

In light of the uncertainty created by the increased impact of coronavirus, the impending closure of schools across the state, and the increased need to provide essential services for the most vulnerable individuals in our communities, we are confronted with a moment of truth. How best can our YMCAs serve our communities and support efforts to keep them healthy and safe?

For more than 150 years, our YMCA has moved boldly in the direction of challenges, and we are proud of the impact that we have had throughout the Twin Ports and across Northern Minnesota. Once again, today, we deliver the promise of the Y to you—that we will move bravely in the direction of service for the greater good. We stand ready to focus our resources on those who need us most during this unprecedented time.

This week, the Duluth Area Family YMCA and the Superior Douglas County YMCAs are redeploying our resources to best support the most pressing needs in our community. We are aligning with our cities, school districts, and community partners to serve parents who must work, including health care workers, first responders, and essential employees who protect our community and its members. These families need safe and reliable places for their children and we will be there for them. We will also work to provide access to healthy foods for vulnerable youth in communities across the Northland.

In order to do this, we will employ the strategies that have allowed our YMCAs to serve thousands of meals and provide the nation’s most trusted and highest quality care for children for decades. In the coming weeks, the need for food service and care for children will increase exponentially. Our Ys will be there to help meet this need.

Beginning on Wednesday, March 18th, our Y gyms, health and wellness centers, and pools will be temporarily closed. We plan to restore full operations on March 30th; it is probable that this date will move as we learn more about the fight against community spread of the coronavirus. If you are checking on scheduled programs and events at the Y, please go to duluthymca.org for the most up-to-date information about postponements and cancellations. We will also utilize our social media platforms to share resources, information, and content that will allow you and your family to stay active and engaged during the coming weeks.

At this time, our afterschool programming with the school district continues. Our early childhood education programs are continuing during regular hours and your child will continue to receive care by trusted teachers.

In order to support your health and wellness goals, we are offering Y360, an exciting new YMCA on-demand fitness program for adults and kids to do at home. With this resource, you and your family can exercise together while you have fun too. You can access this today at Y360 On-Demand.

Your Y is committed to be there for those who need us the most. We ask that you join us in the effort. We ask that you continue to invest in your membership so that we maintain vital life-changing and life-saving programs at the Y. We invite you to join us in service to others who need our help. We know that your membership is meaningful to you and that meaning lies in the relationships you have built at the Y. Those relationships are based upon the humanity you share with others and the passion that you have for ensuring that all members of the community have the opportunity to thrive—no matter what our world is facing. Thank you for joining us.

We are closely working with community leaders and will continue to communicate with you about when we will reopen our programs and facilities to serve everyone. The health and well-being of your family and our community is our greatest passion.

In a time of great uncertainty, you can be certain of the trust that you have placed in the YMCA as your partner. We will be here for our beloved cities throughout this crisis and we will be here with you when we reach the other side and return to our daily routines with clean hands and open hearts.

We invite you to join us in creating a history that demonstrates how, in a dark time, we came together to shine our light and serve those who needed us the most. Let us one day look back and tell the story of the meaningful ways in which we responded.

Thank you for support as we continue to work diligently to ensure the health and safety of our communities.