For over 168 years, the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington has supported our community as a leader in youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. As of 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2020; in compliance with the requests of health and government officials, we suspended operations at YMCA wellness facilities and program centers. These closures were instituted to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and protect those most vulnerable in our communities.
Our staff are working hard to provide emergency support to those who need us most during this unprecedented time: -Free meals are being provided to children at our YMCA branches and program centers. Free groceries and food donations are being collected and provided to anyone in need across each community we serve. -We are offering childcare support for essential service providers, such as community First Responders and hospital employees, so that they may continue to serve and care for the sick in our communities. -In partnership with the Red Cross, our staff and facilities are supporting blood drives across the Metropolitan Washington area to address the current shortage of blood supplies in our local hospitals. -We continue to support our Fit and Well Seniors by providing them with virtual options to stay healthy, active, and connected in their homes. -YMCA Youth and Family Services continue to support young adults through our Youth Intervention Services. Our dedicated teams are communicating directly with youth and their families to provide help needed. The Y has currently developed "virtual" and limited-contact volunteer opportunities to support these efforts. Community members, like you, that volunteer to help will be vital to our success.
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Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. More information on Are you at higher risk for serious illness? Clean your hands often. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Take steps to protect others. Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.