How the YMCA is working to keep people healthy - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

How the YMCA is working to keep people healthy

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Each day, hundreds of people filter in and out of the Albany YMCA. From nine weeks to ninety years, with all those people there's always the potential for germs to easily spread.

So how are officials working to keep not only members, but employees safe from something like the Swine Flu?

There's been a mad frenzy around the globe. Where will swine flu strike next? So how are folks at the Albany YMCA working to keep people safe?

Executive Director Dave Wallace said, "Well, obviously we're concerned as a lot of people are about the situation we currently face, but we really haven't changed anything."

That's because there are already strict guidelines and schedules in place regarding how and how often equipment is cleaned. Plus, members are asked to take steps to protect others as well.

Wallace said, "We encourage our members too to take some responsibility for that as well as washing hands, no shaving in showers as well as wiping off machines after they finish using them."

There are cleaning products placed throughout the building, so members have easy access to them. But beyond the 250 members who come in of the building each day, how do Y officials make sure employees don't bring in and spread sickness to others?

Wallace said, "Well, we have a very dedicated staff and we have to insist that if they are sick, we don't want them here for a variety of reasons. Not only does it take a chance of impacting our members but it also could impact the other staff as well."

And sometimes the message may need to be blunt. "There are times we have to say you don't need to be here." To keep the people who are, safe.

Employees at the YMCA also wear safety gloves when cleaning equipment or doing laundry, and any time they may be coming in contact with bodily fluids.

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