Yakima County moved into Phase 2 of the state’s four-stage Safe Start coronavirus reopening plan earlier this week, which means additional in-person experiences are allowed.
That’s been exciting news for patrons of the Harman Center and the Yakima Valley Libraries.
The county’s progression means that seniors can once again enjoy fitness classes and library goers can peruse bookshelves in person at limited capacity of 25%.
Here are some updates from the facilities.
The city of Yakima’s Harman Center, 101 N. 65th Ave., is reopening to the public for health and wellness classes starting Oct. 19.
Classes will be offered Monday through Thursday each week and include fitness, exercise and dance courses. Wellness programs include weight loss and screenings for blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Recreation Program Supervisor Leslie Richards said she’s excited to start offering classes to the community again.
“We have missed our seniors and I know they have missed us here at the Harman Center as well,” Richards said.
Coronavirus protocols will be in place, including masks and social distancing.
Krystal Corbray, the planning and marketing librarian for Yakima Valley Libraries, said staff is planning for Phase 2 library services, which allow a maximum of 25% occupancy.
“At this time, we don’t have a set date or time line by which buildings will reopen,” she said. “But we are absolutely working on a plan to do so in the near future.”
The library has been able to offer curbside pickup since August. Corbray said she and staff started getting questions from patrons about the library reopening on Tuesday, when the governor announced modified Phase 1 counties could move to Phase 2.
While people obviously are excited about the idea of the libraries reopening, Corbray stressed how important it is that the staff has the time to ensure libraries can reopen safely.
“There are a ton of considerations that we have to take into account before we can actually open buildings,” she said. “By that, I mean things like developing a plan for managing the flow of patrons into and out of our buildings, options for building open hours, in addition to the state-mandated requirements we need to meet with regard to mandatory face coverings for staff and patrons, social distancing signage and protocols, sanitation, and the continued quarantine of returned library materials.”
Corbray said more information, including potential reopening dates, will be incoming over the next few weeks.