The delayed opening for YMCA locations across New York hasn't just meant people can't enjoy the gym, but continued financial uncertainty for the facilities and their staff. 

What You Need To Know

  • YMCAs were redy to open on the first day of phase 4 in New York.

  • But the openings of gyms, movie theaters and malls has been delayed over safety concerns.

  • YMCAs have also been providing child care services during the pandemic for essential workers.

"We were ready," said Kyle Stewart, the executive director of the Alliance of New York State YMCAs. "We had all of our staff trained. We had all of our buildings set to what we call reopening plans."

Furloughed staff had been brought back to develop a safe plan for bringing members back inside. But New York officials delayed the openings for gyms in phase four, set to begin across much of upstate New York on Friday. 

"There's new information that comes out on this virus everyday," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday. "Anyone who thinks this is a static situation is wrong."

Movie theaters and malls were also delayed for now as officials consider the safety of doing so. 

But there has also been a financial strain on the Ys. YMCAs in New York was able to get by with help from the Paycheck Protection Program, but now that funding is running out and staffers have been furloughed once again. 

YMCAs don't just provide fitness services, but also child care, which hasn't stopped during the pandemic for the parents of essential workers. Stewart worries the delayed opening could put that in jeopardy. 

"We're a charity. We don't turn anyone away," Stewart said. "What we've done in child care, we've done with very little dollars coming in and we've done because we've been able to raise some dollars to offset those costs."

And the same goes for day camps, which will open this summer at Ys, but still serve only a fraction of the children. 

Stewart estimated a fraction of the children will attend YMCA day camps this summer, with only 500 to 550 kids taking part out of usually thousands of campers.

Stewart is confident YMCAs can open now following guidelines put in place by the CDC. 

"It's not going to look the same at all as it did when we closed our doors," he said. "We have to make sure we open safely and responsibly. We feel like with the plan in place, we can do that."