Staff Report


The Channel Islands YMCA, which includes the Stuart C. Gildred YMCA in Santa Ynez and facilities in Santa Barbara, Montecito and Lompoc, announced it was closing all its health and wellness locations, programs and child-care facilities effective Tuesday through March 31,  due to the continuing spread of coronavirus throughout the state.

“Over the past 24 hours, the state of California has taken significant steps to keep the public safe as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout our state. Our priority as an organization is the health and wellbeing of our community,” Margo Byrne, president and CEO, and Gail Anikouchine, board chair of the Channel Islands YMCA, said in a statement.

“We will continually re-assess our reopening date of April 1 as we have more information or direction from local health authorities. During this closure we will be working to ensure our facilities are ready to reopen, which will include conducting a deep cleaning and disinfecting.”

The YMCA on Monday announced it was canceling its active older adult fitness classes and social programs after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s request to have individuals over 65 stay away from public places. The YMCA also discontinued providing yoga mats or blankets.

Earlier youth sports leagues were postponed, and the child watch preschool and after-school programs were closed and group exercise classes were reduced in size to provide recommended social distancing of six feet. 

The YMCA did announce that all members and the community now have access to a select number of group exercise classes online. The newly created video library includes a variety of classes for all members. They are available at its Virtual Wellness Page and on Facebook.