YMCA Temporarily Closes While Staffer Gets Tested For Coronavirus

Mar 13, 2020

UPDATE as of 3/15/20: The staff member's test for COVID-19 is negative, and the YMCA in Eugene will now open on April 1st, as sanitization efforts continue. 

Eugene’s YMCA is closed until Tuesday (3/17), pending a unidentified staff member’s test results for COVID-19.

Signs on the YMCA's doors in Eugene announce its closure. Since this photo was taken, the facility's open date for next week has moved from March 16th to the 17th (next Tuesday).
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

The sign on the Y door announcing the facility’s closure surprised 85-year-old Anna Jackson.  She thought she was going to attend her usual Friday exercise class.

“First time this has ever happened, so, I’ll have to do it at home I guess," says Jackson. "There’s a lot of panic I think, which is unfortunate. But so far, it’s good where we’re at here in Eugene.”

So far, there remain no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Lane County.  Health officials caution residents though, that it's likely cases will appear over time.

People using the Y's gym, December 2019.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

The Y’s CEO, Brian Steffen, says after the weekend, any possible contamination threat in the facility will be over.

“The novel coronavirus dies within three days of being on a surface," says Steffen, who adds they've been consulting with health officials and the CDC.

"That will allow our staff to go in on Monday, and do a deep clean, knowing that any virus that may have been in the environment will have died by the time we’re in there.”

Steffen says given the lack of primary symptoms like fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, the employee’s test isn’t being prioritized.

Note: As of 3:15pm March 13th, the YMCA employee's status remains unknown.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.