Reopening Texas now includes youth clubs.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Monday these nonprofits can resume operations immediately, with some recommended guidelines.
The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas tells NBC 5 it is planning to open back up to 6-18 years old children, but only some locations and they will not reopen immediately.
Staff members were busy Tuesday morning at the Grand Prairie location unpacking cleaning supplies and face masks.
Crew members have been preparing to welcome up to 1,800 youth back inside since closing in mid-March due to COVID-19.
“We’re creating sanitizing stations throughout our club just to make sure that our families and our club members and even our staff are safe,” said Cherri Rowe of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas.
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There are now visible markings on the floor to encourage social distancing.
Staff members will also provide face masks and implement handwashing into normal programming.
“We are putting a lot of additional safety measures in place so we’ll be taking temperatures of everyone that enters the building,” said Rowe.
As for the governor’s newest order allowing youth clubs to reopen, Rowe said ‘We were happy but surprised when the order went out.”
The governor released ‘minimum standard health protocols’ for youth clubs choosing to reopen.
Among the recommendations: indoor meetings should not have more than 10 people at a time, youth clubs should consider having employees and volunteers wear face coverings, have dividers for participants, make disinfectants and soaps readily available, and consider placing signs of best hygiene practices.
“We didn’t want to open before we felt ready,” said Rowe. “We wanted to do everything possible to make sure all of the safety measures were in place before we did open to the public.”
Rowe tells NBC 5 the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas will go on with its plan to reopen five of nine locations in June, in time for summer programs.
The organization’s leadership is still deciding which five locations to reopen and will announce the decision next week.
The organization has continued to provide programming online as well as continuing to feed children in need despite being closed to in-person services, said Rowe.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.