Boys & Girls Clubs of Dumplin Valley adapts to new safety precautions

Masked staff member takes a child's temperature as part of new safety procedures at Boys & Girls Clubs of Dumplin Valley.
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JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (WVLT) - Boys & Girls Clubs of Dumplin Valley are open again for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit East Tennessee. Yet, the four clubs in Cocke and Jefferson Counties can only service about half of their normal capacity of children, with a waiting list of parents needing childcare.

C.E.O. Josh Yarbrough said the routine now includes masked staff members taking temperatures of children before they enter the clubs each day, and parents dropping off without entering.

Adaptations include one staff member working with nine children, who all must socially distance themselves from one another. Frequent sanitizing is a must. Sometimes even using gloves if children touch the same ball for a game; and even then, observance of distances.

"There's not pickup basketball games or there's no football, anything like that we're not doing right now," said Yarbrough. "They can play pool because that's pretty easy to keep them apart from each other. Carpet ball is popular. But it's kind of just learning on the fly and adapting."

This group of clubs says it has not received state funds to help with free childcare for essential workers.

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