“We are confident in the safety precautions that we have in place across all of our locations, which go above and beyond the recommendations of the CDC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” – Michelle Perez Vichot, Executive Vice President, Operations
This week, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston has safely reopened eight of its physical Club locations, and will also continue providing virtual programs for members of 10 of its locations across Boston and Chelsea. Thorough safety precautions have gone into effect across the eight locations that are physically reopening, including strict physical distancing, sanitization, face coverings (such as masks), and monitoring protocols.
“We’re excited to physically reopen eight of our Club locations, and to be able to safely and effectively serve our members in person,” said Michelle Perez Vichot, BGCB’s Executive Vice President, Operations. “We are confident in the safety precautions that we have in place across all of our locations, which go above and beyond the recommendations of the CDC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
All Clubs will be operating at a maximum of 35% of normal capacity. This translates into rooms in each building being occupied by no more than 10 youth members and two adult staff at a time. Within each room, physical distancing will be observed at all times as tables and chairs have been rearranged to ensure at least six feet of separation between each individual.
Each member will remain in their designated room throughout the course of the day to minimize person-to-person contact. The only exception will be for limited rotations to areas such as the pool and gymnasium. During these transitions, members will remain six feet apart and follow one-way traffic flows in hallways that are less than six feet wide.
Within each room, members will have access to their own personal equipment to use for activities. No equipment will be shared at any point throughout the day, with the exception of large pieces of equipment that can easily be cleaned after each use (pool sticks, ping pong paddles, video game controllers, etc.).
In addition, pickup and drop off times will be staggered to minimize contact between members and families entering and exiting Clubs.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Upon entering Clubs, members are required to wash their hands and follow regular hand-washing checkpoints throughout each day, including before transitions into new programs/activities, before and after eating, and after using the restroom. There are also hand sanitizer dispensers located throughout each building.
Staff will clean and disinfect program areas throughout each day. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, and bannisters. All staff have been trained on proper cleaning and disinfecting methods as recommended by CDC and DPH, and 10-minute buffers have been built into program schedules to ensure thorough cleaning in between activity sessions. Restrooms will also be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
Staff and members are required to wear face coverings, such as masks, at all times during program hours, with the only exceptions during meals and swimming. In addition, members will receive instruction on how to properly cover their mouth with a tissue or elbow when sneezing or coughing while not wearing a face covering, and are required to wash their hands immediately afterwards.
Parents and guardians are required to wear face coverings at all times when inside of the building and during drop-off and pick-up.
BGCB has hired five additional nurses to monitor and ensure the health of members and staff. Clubs will be conducting and maintaining records of daily health screenings for both members and staff. In addition, members and staff will be monitored throughout the day for symptoms.
Each Club also has an extensively detailed protocol in place for responding to situations in which members and staff become symptomatic while at Clubs, as well as for responding to situations in which a member or staff tests positive for COVID-19.
For more details on Club procedures and protocols, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston is to help young people, especially those who need us most, build strong character and realize their full potential as responsible citizens and leaders. We do this by providing a safe haven filled with hope and opportunity, ongoing relationships with caring adults, and life-enhancing programs.