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JCC suspends fitness, aquatic and senior programs; YMCA closing branches for two days

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo is closing all fitness and swimming facilities, as well as its senior programs, as of the end of operations Sunday, in response to concerns about the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, YMCA Buffalo Niagara announced that all of its branches will be closed Monday and Tuesday for disinfection and deep cleaning. Child care and vacation club programs also will be closed.

The JCC's popular Early Childhood Center program at both the Holland Family Building in downtown Buffalo and the Benderson Family Building in Getzville, as well as the Vacation Club at Holland, will still run on Monday, said Executive Director Richard Zakalik. But he said Sunday that staff will "reevaluate those programs tomorrow," and "it is likely we will suspend those programs afterward."

"Our highest priority is, and always will be, the safety, health and well-being of our members, staff and community," Zakalik wrote in an email sent to members on Sunday. "The decision was not easy, but it was made after careful consideration of the current health situation."

The YMCA, in a statement, said that possible reopening of the branches on Wednesday is under discussion. An update was promised at noon Tuesday online at

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