Since the escalation of COVID-19 in Canada, we have made the commitment to help ‘flatten the curve’ so that our hospitals do not become overburdened. Many organizations within Simcoe County and Districts of Muskoka and Parry Sound are doing their part by closing facilities and cancelling events, including the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka.
While the public health risk has remained low in our areas, the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka decided to take swift and decisive action to protect the communities we serve. The health and safety of our staff, volunteers, community and residents is our number one priority. We felt it was important to align with public health authority guidelines and regional school closures and close our facilities and cancel upcoming events to help with public efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. The following is a list of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka’s actions with respect to COVID-19:
- All YMCA Child Care Centres and Before and After School Care programs are closed until Monday, April 6, 2020.
- All YMCA March Break camps have been cancelled.
- All YMCA Health, Fitness and Aquatics Centres are closed until Monday, April 6, 2020.
- Effective immediately the YMCA’s Immigrant Services program will be offering virtual learning for participants. Childminding is cancelled for this program.
- YMCA Geneva Park is closed until Thursday, April 30, 2020.
- The YMCA’s signature fundraising event, Move to Give, will be postponed until further notice.
- YMCA Employment & Learning Services sites in Midland, Huntsville, and Parry Sound have closed to the public but will provide services virtually and by telephone.
- YMCA Youth Services has closed public access but will provide services virtually.
The YMCA is a charity that has been improving the lives of communities like ours for over 160 years. While our buildings are closed during this unprecedented time, we are exploring alternative ways for us to continue to provide the range of services and programs that our community members need during this unprecedented time. We will continue to monitor reports and assess the public health risks associated with COVID-19 from public health authorities and local health care providers, and continue to make adjustments as needed.
We must all do what we can to avoid spreading the virus. Our communities are resilient and we will get through this together.
CEO, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka
Rob Armstrong is President and CEO of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka; focused on investing in communities, ensuring all people have access to the Y and implementing programs that are helping thousands of youth and families to learn and thrive. Prior to joining the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka in 2011, Rob held senior leadership positions at the YMCA of Edmonton, YMCA of Owen Sound, YMCA of Cambridge and most recently YMCA Ontario. Rob holds an Honours degree in Physical and Health Education from Queen’s University and has since augmented his education with advanced courses from the Harvard Business School of Entrepreneurship, Ivy School of Business and Queen’s University Executive Education Program.
Since coming to Simcoe/Muskoka, Rob has taken an active leadership role in the Child, Youth and Family Services Coalition of Simcoe County and Barrie’s Pathways to end homelessness. He served on a number of boards including local Community Foundations, Affordable Housing, Parks and Recreation Ontario and the Minister of Health Promotions Health Advisory Committee.