The Commissioner of the Department of Health has extended COVID-19’s designation as a highly contagious communicable disease through December 15th and our HERO Act Plan remains in effect.


Greetings YMCA of Central New York Members,  

Below is our revised YMCA mask policy that will take effect on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. These changes are being made in relation to feedback from staff, members, and requirements made at the Onondaga County government and NY State government levels. The changes do adhere to guidance provided by the CDC and the State of New York. We truly appreciate your support and willingness to adhere to these changes due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

  • Face masks are highly encouraged for fully vaccinated members.
  • Children ages 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated should wear a mask indoors while participating in YMCA programming.
  • Consistent with CDC guidelines, unvaccinated members and staff must wear a mask, except when showering or participating in aquatic-based activities.

We also wanted to let you know about some changes that you may see at our branches as we implement our Workplace Safety plan in response to the HERO Act ( which is law via the New York State Legislature as of May 2021. The HERO Act means that all private employers are required to develop and implement Workplace Safety plans during times when designated airborne infectious diseases present a danger to the public. COVID-19 was recently designated as such by the NY State Governor Kathy Hochul on September 6, 2021 (

  • All YMCA staff and program volunteers will be required to wear masks in our buildings and will be required to adhere to 6ft of physically distancing. One exception will be that our aquatic staff will not be in masks when actively on duty or teaching.
  • You may see some extra signage as well to ensure distancing and safety.

These changes went into effect on Friday 9/17/21 and remain in place until 10/8/21; a review will be conducted by the Senior Leadership Team and President/CEO on 9/30/21 to determine if we must continue beyond the date listed above.
I do hope that the timeframe we must adhere to this enactment of the HERO Act/Workplace Safety Action Plan is short and that the threat of COVID-19 will diminish in our communities. Thank you for everything you do to support our community at the Y!

Bertram L. Lawson II  
President & CEO