SEATTLE — With all of Washington’s 1.2 million students now sitting out school for the next six weeks amid the COVID-19 outbreak, many parents are likely racing to figure out what to do when it comes to child care.

In King County, Boys and Girls Clubs will be extending hours and programs at 12 of its centers as an option to families looking for a place to turn. “For those families that need us most or for first responder families. we’ll be providing some activities, snacks, lunch,” said Brandee Paisano, an area director for six sites. “This is a comfort and they know we are taking every precaution that we know of at this time to provide that place for them.”

In a press release, it was announced that the clubs are prepared to staff and host up to each club’s capacity and that no more than 250 people will be gathering in one location in accordance with the state’s current guidelines.

“We recognize that not all families have the ability to stay home and take care of their kids when schools are closed,” said president and CEO Laurie Black.

Victor, 6, left, and Emiliano 7, use the hand sanitizer at the Heights Boys and Girls Club in Houston on Thursday. The club is helping to serve students in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

Additional steps to help protect Club members, staff and volunteers are also underway. Health screenings of both youth and staff will occur upon arrival that includes:

  • Families and staff asked at drop off if they have had contact with anyone who has had a confirmed case of the Coronavirus or is currently awaiting test results in the last 14 days.
  • If the answer is yes, the youth will not be able to attend, nor will any staff members be able to work until after the quarantine period has elapsed.
  • Youth & Staff are already required to wash their hands upon arrival at the Club. They also are directed to wash hands thoroughly before eating meals or snacks and frequently throughout the day.
  • If a Club experiences a confirmed case of Coronavirus of either a staff member or one of our youth, the Club will close down for at least two days to allow for disinfection of all surfaces.
  • Next week, members and staff will have temperatures taken upon entry. If the temperature is over 100.0 degrees, staff or youth will be sent home and encouraged to contact their primary care provider.

“In the end, we all are just doing the best that way can,” said Paisano.

New memberships for Boys and Girls Clubs of King County run $50 with a $25 daily fee. For teenagers, the daily fee is waived. Those prices will stay in place through the end of March.

 

Cole Miller | March 14 20 |  Clubs Extending Hours to Help Scrambling Parents | KOMO News, Seattle PI & KOMO/Channel 4 ABC

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