Naperville’s Fry Family YMCA is among 14 Chicago area YMCA locations set to begin requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry, according to a YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago release. The new rule applies to anyone age 5 and older with limited exceptions.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago will introduce the requirement in a two-phased approach. The Fry Family YMCA and five other centers in areas neighboring Cook County are included in Phase 2, beginning enforcement February 1.
The eight YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago locations within Cook County are included in Phase 1, beginning January 3 in line with the county’s vaccine requirement, which starts on the same day.
What To Bring
Members can bring proof of vaccination in the form of a vaccination card or photocopy, a digital record or app, or a printed record from a vaccine provider, the release said. Those 16 and older will also need to bring proof of identification, such as a state ID or drivers license, to verify their vaccination status.
There are some exceptions for the requirement. Those include children under age 5, and those who enter a membership center for less than 10 minutes to make a delivery or use the restroom, the release said.
Also exempt are those who have received a medical or religious exemption. Those who qualify must provide proof of the exemption, “and a COVID-19 test administered by a medical professional within 72 hours of entering a covered location,” the release said.
The final exemption applies to those 18 and under “participating in an activity organized by a K-12 school or after school program, early learning, or day care locations,” according to the release. The YMCA is assessing whether to extend its vaccination requirement to this group and said it will provide additional information soon.
The new requirement makes no change to the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago’s enforcement of Illinois’ statewide mask mandate. It will remain in effect indefinitely and is subject to evolve in line with public health guidelines and best practices, the release said.
“We want you to feel confident walking into a Y location and know that we are putting your health and safety first – now and always,” the release said. “We will continue to monitor the situation and make updates as we gain even more perspective.”
Naperville News 17’s Casey Flanagan reports.
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