Statement from Watertown YMCA

The Watertown Family YMCA is closing as of Saturday, March 14, 2020, 10:00 pm
and will be closed March 15, 2020 to at least March 29, 2020

Dear Members, Guests, and Supporters of our YMCA,

The difficult decision has been made to close our Downtown, Fairgrounds, Carthage, Sackets Harbor, SACC programs and Daycare Center facilities for at least two weeks. This decision, as difficult as it was to make, was made in accordance with the guidelines from public health authorities, news of all regional school closings in our area and coupled with many other considerations which include the safety of our staff, children, elderly, and others in high risk categories as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) issues unfold locally, nationally and internationally. The Y will continue to keep you informed and updated as any new developments become available. Some of this may be on a wide-scale communication such as our website or Facebook page and some on a branch-specific level with emails or push notifications. We are also currently assessing other local and national events and handling any necessary future extensions of this closure and cancellations on a case-by-case basis.

Given that the Y is focused on healthy living, youth development and social responsibility, we want to also offer reminders for your personal self-care. This can be a stressful time for many. Self-care is an integral part of overall health, happiness and success. Because this situation will continue to evolve rapidly, it is important that you take care of yourselves and your family, learn the precautions from credible sources, and stay positive. So will the Y.

Our decision was made because the risk outweighs the reward. We know that the Y is a place where people come to de-stress and exercise, participate in programs, make friends, socialize, and achieve personal goals. This also makes us a target for large group gatherings, classes, programs and special events. We also know we do not want to put people at risk of contracting this highly infectious disease. We serve thousands of people daily, both young and old, and all in between, which makes us a high-risk entity to begin with. It is our hope that while we are closed, progress can be made in containing the virus, testing can be performed more rapidly, and movement toward a potential cure can be made. We will stay in constant contact with our health professionals, community partners, staff and members as we learn information and make decisions.

During this time, the Y will engage in contracted deep cleaning services for all facilities. Our full-time staff will continue to work in some capacity, in the form of additional cleaning duties, communication, call answering, website updating, and Facebook posting. We ask for your understanding, cooperation, and assistance in supporting our decision.

The Y has changed lives for the better over our 165-year history. We expect to continue to do so, regardless of the challenges. We need to come back, and come back strong- financially, programmatically, and personally. We ask for your ongoing support of our efforts during this trying time. Please visit our website at for up-to-date information, and visit our Facebook page, which is easier to post to quickly.

Thank you for being a part of our Y family, whom we care about very much. We’ll get through this together.


Keith Caughlin | Y Board, Chair
Denise Young | CEO
Steve Rowell | CPO
Shawna Cutuli | Managing Director