The Merrimack Valley YMCA has closed all of its branches and programs for two weeks, according to a statement by YMCA President and CEO Francis J. Kenneally III issued Sunday evening.
No cases of coronavirus have been traced to the YMCA locations in Lawrence, Methuen or Andover, according to Kenneally’s memo to YMCA members.
However, he cited guidance from public officials, health officials and state and national YMCA organizations as reason for the decision.
YMCA child care centers were closed for at least three days, from Monday through Wednesday, for “deep cleaning,” he said.
The YMCA is exploring options to open its child care for essential workers and first responders “who must work to protect us,” he added. “We know that these families need safe and reliable places for their children.”
In addition, he said the YMCA is working with local officials to address helping food insecurity and other community needs.
Kenneally issued the memo around the same time Sunday that Gov. Charlie Baker announced an order closing all public schools in Massachusetts for three weeks, until April 6, and prohibiting events and gatherings of 25 or more people.
The YMCA had previously announced the cancellation of most programs and events to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. Its branches were closed for cleaning Sunday, but previously were scheduled to reopen on Monday.
The facilities are now scheduled to reopen Monday, March 30.
"We feel this decision is the most responsible course of action based on the need to consider the health and well-being of our children, families and the community at large," Kenneally said. "We want you to know that this is not a decision we made lightly and hope we have your understanding."