Safety Guide

All locations are open with indoor and outdoor fitness amenities that meet and exceed public health guidelines to keep you safe.

To learn more about what to expect at the Y, please see the sections below. Please see our schedules page for updates and reservations, and check out our virtual options if you're unable to join us in person.

Our locations are open to current YMCA of WNC members and guests, members of other North Carolina YMCAs, day pass holders, and members from Ys that participate in the Nationwide Membership program.

Please follow us on Facebook and check this page for updates. 

Keeping You Safe

Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our team, our members, and the community. We are prioritizing your safety with these precautions:

  • Enhanced sanitization of equipment, surfaces and areas combined with an increased frequency of cleaning
  • Upgraded air filtration systems
  • Additional stations for hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes
  • Focus on “no touch” or “low touch” interactions
  • Required PPE for our staff (except during outdoor group exercise or lifeguarding)
  • Protective barriers in place to reduce contact between staff and members
  • Mandatory COVID-19 education, safety training, and protocols for our entire staff team
  • Reservation systems for group exercise classes, racquetball, and pickleball
  • Capacity dashboards to show the number of people checked in -- go to the locations page and choose your center for real-time data

Mask up for Safety

Buncombe County Mask Policy
Buncombe County has mandated that masks are required inside all facilities that are open to the public. We have revised our mask policy to comply with this mandate at our Buncombe County facilities.

  • Masks are required indoors for people ages 5 and up, regardless of vaccination status, unless someone has a medical or behavioral issue that prohibits mask use. We do not require documentation for the exception.
  • If someone is exercising strenuously and experiences trouble breathing, gets dizzy, or is lightheaded, they may remove their mask.
  • Masks are not required in wet areas (pool, showers, steam/sauna, hot tubs)

The Buncombe County mandate is scheduled to expire on Jan. 5, 2022.

Henderson and McDowell Mask Policy
Our policy in these counties remains the same:

  • Masks are optional for vaccinated members and guests.
  • Unvaccinated members and guests are asked to wear a mask and maintain physical distance from others.

Staff Mask Policy
All staff in Buncombe, Henderson, and McDowell County facilities are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. The only exceptions are rescue-ready lifeguards and group exercise instructors, who have been provided with face shields to wear during class. As an alternative, transparent barriers are also available for instructors to use in some centers.

Facility Air Quality Standards

Depending on the specific systems at our centers, we have worked to improve building ventilation using engineering controls as well as regular preventive maintenance of existing systems. For example, we:

  • Ensure (HVAC) ventilation systems are operating properly
  • Swiftly fix mechanical issues
  • Increased ventilation rates within existing systems when possible
  • Disabled demand-controlled ventilation where possible.
  • Have adjusted air dampers when possible to reduce recirculation and improved central air filtration to the highest level compatible within each system, without reducing adequate air flow
  • Constantly run our HVAC systems during operating hours to enhance air exchanges in the building space
  • Ensure exhaust fans in restroom facilities are functional and operating at full capacity when the building is occupied
  • Have installed portable HEPA systems on wellness floors

Plan Ahead: What You Need to Know and Bring

  • Reservations are required for all classes, racquetball, and pickleball. Services vary by location. Access reservations through our schedules page or mobile app.
  • Please bring the personal items you need (a mat, towel, water bottle, etc.) 
  • For outdoor group exercise, wipe down equipment, weights, mats, etc., before and after use with the cleaning materials provided.
  • Gyms are now open for shoot-around basketball on a first-come, first-served basis (no pickup games). Bring your own ball. Families are welcome to play on the same basket together. See schedules for hours.
  • Our Youth Development Centers are now open at several locations. Please click here for more information.
  • Youth members ages 13 and up are welcome with a parent or guardian as part of a household membership. 
  • Families participating in reserved family activities, such as family swim, must follow all required safety protocols
  • Please stay home if you’re sick or don’t feel well. The CDC and state public health officials encourage seniors and members of vulnerable populations, including those with underlying health conditions, to stay at home.

How to Make Reservations

To help keep the community safe, we're using a reservations system to cap the number of group exercise class participants. You can reserve your spot through our website, but the fastest, easiest way to do it is through our mobile app. Here are step-by-step instructions for your convenience.

As a courtesy to others, please do not book back-to-back time slots for indoor pools or gym time.

Outdoor Group Exercise

All YMCA of Western North Carolina centers will continue offering outdoor group exercise classes while weather allows.

Classes include athletic conditioning, yoga, strength and conditioning, cardio, Zumba, and more. Centers with indoor pools are offering aquatic group exercise classes.

Please note that classes are subject to change, and may be canceled or moved indoors or to our virtual platform due to weather. Please see our schedules page or mobile app for updates.

What to Expect

  • All classes are on a reservation system, and reservations open 24 hours before the class
  • Face coverings are required for childcare staff and youth
  • Please bring your own water.
  • Childcare is available for those with a Household Membership at all locations, please check hours in advance.
  • If a class is canceled due to weather, we will post the news on social media and our mobile app approximately one hour before class time. Some classes may move indoors or to our virtual platform during inclement weather.

Pools and Swim Programs

Indoor pools are open at:

  • Asheville YMCA
  • Black Mountain YMCA
  • Corpening Memorial YMCA
  • Hendersonville Family YMCA
  • Reuter Family YMCA

Pool Usage Guidelines

  • Bring your own pool toys and equipment, limited options are available 
  • Showers and hose systems available for rinsing off before and after entering the water
  • Locker rooms are open for showers and toilets

Please note that this information is subject to change. Please check our schedules page or mobile app for updates and to make reservations.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pools

Will swim tests happen during this time?
Yes, we will continue to give swim tests for anyone who needs one and anyone under the age of 12. 

Can non-swimmers be in deep end if that is the spot they reserved?
No, they cannot. Our aquatic safety plan prohibits non-swimmers from being in the deep end of our pools.

What if someone reserves a slot and doesn't show up?
After 15 minutes, if someone is waiting, our aquatics staff will allow them to take the open slot for the remaining time. As a courtesy to others, please do not book back-to-back slots. To maximize the spaces available, we're enforcing a $10 no-show fee for each unused reservation. If you make a reservation you’re not able to keep, please use our mobile app or call 828-251-5910 to cancel.

What about weather closures?
Pools will continue to follow our existing weather policies.

Can a family bring friends to their family time slot?
Members are allowed to bring guests.

Swim Lessons

Registration is open for private, semi-private and group swim lessons. We are following several additional health and safety precautions:

  • Instructors will use a “coach approach” teaching model to instruct from the deck or from a socially distant distance in the water whenever able and if safe to do so. If a child is not comfortable or able to safely be in the water on their own, a parent/guardian may be asked to accompany them in the water during the class.
  • We encourage participants to come ready to enter the water in their swimsuits and leave in their swimsuits to limit time in the locker rooms.

Patton Pool

Patton Pool in Hendersonville is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Virtual YMCA

During this time, we want to help you prioritize your health and wellness. Regular exercise is one component of a healthy lifestyle that can help reduce stress and prevent illness.

Access daily live classes taught by the professional local instructors.

Members can download our mobile app to access workouts, do fitness challenges, set goals, track progress, and more!


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