Boys and Girls Club closes as a precaution

Travis M. Whitehead/Valley Morning Star Youngsters learn some new moves at a Cheer and Dance Camp yesterday at the Main Unit of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harlingen.

HARLINGEN – The Boys and Girls Club of Harlingen has decided to close, for now.

In an announcement made Sunday on its Facebook page, the organization explained it was temporarily closing as a precaution due to the rising numbers in COVID-19 cases in the area.

Gerald Gathright, Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Harlingen, said no COVID-19 cases have been reported at the facility, but the club is always concerned for the safety and well-being of the children and staff.

“We have had no cases reported at our two club sites that are open this summer, and no staff people have been reported ill. We are not closing due to that,” he said.

“We are taking a week for now just as a precaution because there has been so much of an outbreak throughout the Valley and including our area also. We know that a lot of the children we serve are going to other places, and we wanted to be extra cautious and be sure to keep them as safe as possible,” Gathright said.

The club is considering re-opening when time seems the safest.

“If thing seem to settle down by next week, we would hope to re-open. We are following advice of local health officials and health departments and listening to government officials and trying to do everything we can to be safe,” he said.

The plan is to re-sanitize and deep clean the facilities this upcoming week as an extra precaution.

“We are sanitizing our buildings every day and going through every game and activity area and re-sanitizing them again. We just want to be sure when we do re-open our facility is safe and clean,” Gathright said.

STEM summer camps will still be held but in a different isolated area.

“They are a very small number. It’s 10 children, and we are going to do extra social distancing but only those camps will be held. All other regular activities are closed, and we will reevaluate this coming weekend and make a decision for next week,” he said.

“We look forward to the day we go back to full operations and serving the children of our community. We will make a decision if it is okay to re-open,” Gathright said.

ecavazos@valleystar.com