COVID-19 Policies | Metrowest YMCA | MetroWest YMCA

COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

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MetroWest YMCA COVID-19 Addendum for Early Learning Center, School's Out, and Summer Camp
(Revised June 7, 2022)

The MetroWest YMCA is pleased that we have been able to continue to serve our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This addendum represents our latest protocols, and we are grateful for your patience and understanding as this document evolves. As new information becomes available, we will continue to update our policies and procedures based on the recommendations of local, state, and federal organizations.

The Y has developed a series of policies and procedures designed to help with prevention, identification, and containment/isolation. Children, families, and Y staff will all have a role in minimizing the potential impact of COVID-19 on our community and we are optimistic that we will be successful in our efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy

The MetroWest YMCA strives to deliver consistently high-quality programming that ensures the health and safety of the children and staff. Here is a summary of the current strategies that we have in place for the prevention and response to COVID-19 in our Education and camp programs:


Mitigation Strategies to Prevent Forward Transmission of COVID-19

Monitor for symptoms and stay home when sick – Children with COVID-19 symptoms will not be able to attend the Early Learning Center, School’s Out, or summer camps. They can return once they are symptom-free for 24 hours without medication, can fully participate in the program, and have a negative COVID-19 test or they have a note from their health care provider saying that they are not contagious.

Unvaccinated visitors, volunteers, and specialists limited in indoor program locations – To help prevent the potential exposure of COVID-19, families will continue to drop-off and pick-up their children in a clearly marked and designated area such as a program lobby and a Y staff member will escort the children to their classrooms or group. While waiting for their children, families are encouraged to stay at least six feet away from others or wear a mask. Family members interested in coordinating in-person visits to classrooms/program spaces as well as virtual meetings with Y educators and staff should reach out to their child’s teacher or director to schedule.

Masks and physical distancing – The Y will implement all relevant mask requirements instituted by our local Boards of Health or state mandates. Our School’s Out program participants and staff will follow the same guidelines that are enforced by the school districts that the children attend. When there are no other mask mandates or requirements in place, the Y will enforce the following unless the Y learns of a significant increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in a program and additional precautionary steps are needed:

  • When indoors including during Y transportation, unvaccinated children over 2 years old, program participants, Y staff and other adults are encouraged to wear masks.
  • Masks are optional for vaccinated children and adults.
  • When outside, all children and staff will have the choice to wear a mask.
  • Masks are never required when the individual is eating, drinking, or sleeping.

In addition, protocols are in place to encourage physical distancing of at least three feet indoors.

Groups – Children will be assigned to consistent groups and have limited interaction with other groups when inside.

Personal hygiene and facility cleaning – Hand sanitizer will continue to be available both inside and outside. Children and staff will be required to engage in regular handwashing throughout the day. Y staff and educators will reference posted signage to encourage children on proper hand-washing procedures. In addition, high touch surfaces (door handles, shared objects…) will be cleaned at least daily with additional cleaning and disinfection completed when illness is confirmed.

Designated Area for isolating sick children and staff members – Each location has a designated space to isolate children or staff who become symptomatic. With written permission, we will use a rapid antigen test to determine if the individual has COVID. For those that test positive, we will contact the child’s guardian and have the child picked up as soon as possible (within 45 minutes).  Sick children over two and staff will be required to wear masks until they have left the program.


COVID-19 Symptom Management Protocols

Individuals experiencing these COVID-19 symptoms will participate in the COVID-19 protocol. Please note that School’s Out participants must follow the COVID-19 protocols for their school district and be eligible to attend school in order to participate in Y programs. 

COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
  • Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nausea, vomiting, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Headache, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies), when in combination with other symptoms

If a child or staff member exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms while they are at the Y, they will be removed from the group and wait in the designated isolation room. If needed, the Y will provide a mask if the individual is at least 2 years old. With appropriate PPE, the Y staff will clean, disinfect, and ventilate areas that the ill staff/child occupied.

For children, the Y staff member will contact the child’s parents/guardians to arrange for the child to go home or administer a rapid test if proper parental consent is obtained. The Y will not administer the rapid test to children under two years old but will accept the results of these tests if conducted by the parents or guardians of the child. If the staff member/child tests negative and has mild symptoms, they can stay at the Y.


Isolation and Quarantine Guidance and Protocols 

  • To count days for quarantine and isolation, Day 0 is the last date of exposure for close contacts, and for positive cases is the first day of symptoms OR the day the day positive test was taken, whichever is earlier.

  • Individuals who are identified as close contacts may continue to attend programming if they remain asymptomatic. Those who can mask should do so until Day 10. Staff will need to have a negative rapid test for five consecutive days. For children, a test on Days 2 and 5 is recommended, but not required.
  • Individuals who test positive must isolate for at least 5 days. If they are asymptomatic or symptoms are resolving and they have been fever-free for 24 hours, they may return to programming after Day 5, provided:
    • If the child can mask, they must do so through Day 10.
    • If the child is unable to mask, they must have a negative test on Day 5 or later in order to return to programming prior to day 11.
  • Symptomatic individuals can remain in their school or program if their symptoms are mild and they are tested immediately onsite, and that test is negative. Best practice would also include wearing a mask, if possible, until the individual no longer has symptoms.
    • If the symptomatic child cannot be tested immediately, they should be sent home and allowed to return to their program or school if they test negative, or they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their symptoms have resolved, or if a medical professional makes an alternative diagnosis. The Y strongly recommends a negative test for return.  

If a child tests negative but has symptoms of COVID-19, or if a family has concerns about their child’s exposure to COVID-19, families should call their child’s doctor, a licensed medical authority, or local health department.

The MetroWest YMCA recommends that all adults and eligible children receive a COVID-19 vaccine and booster.

We greatly appreciate everyone’s support and patience during this time.  Caring for your children is our top priority and although we have been given strict restrictions, we intend to continue to provide your child with the comfort and care they deserve and need. Since families will not be able to enter the classrooms, please do not hesitate to reach out to your program staff or administration.