Boys and Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County reopens clubhouse for limited childcare

Additional safety measure in place to limit COVID-19 spread
Posted at 3:25 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 20:28:15-04

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County announced it will reopen its Bair Family Clubhouse at 505 Orchard Lane in Billings Monday for homeless children and children of hospital workers and first responders.

All five of the nonprofit's facilities in Yellowstone County had closed this Monday when Gov. Steve Bullock ordered a two-week closure of all Montana schools to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“For nearly 50 years, our local Club has maintained a singular focus on serving those who need us most, and today more than ever we must make every effort to safely serve as many members as we can during these challenging times," CEO Brian Dennis said Thursday in a news release.

The hours will be 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for that limited group of children. The total number of children will be under 150 and will be allowed to gather in groups of 25 or less to limit their contacts, Dennis said. (A previous version of this story misstated the group size.)

The reopening has been approved by Yellowstone County Health Officer John Felton, according to Dennis.

Additional safety and sanitation procedures include:

- taking temperatures of all members and staff when they enter the building and at lunch,
- aggressively cleaning each club space multiple times each day,
- a “quarantine” room for members who exhibit symptoms to wait until they are picked up, and
- restricting parent/guardian access to the building.

The clubhouse will offer three meals per day, math, science and reading enrichment, daily fitness and recreation opportunities, and healthy lifestyle programming.

The Bair clubhouse is the largest of the five operated by the Boys and Girls Clubs. The other four have remained closed.

Montana had 12 reported cases of the virus, including two in Yellowstone County, as of Thursday morning, according to the state Department of Public Health and Human Services.