A parent of children that attended programming at the Ladysmith Boys and Girls Club was exposed to someone who has since tested positive for COVID-19.
The parent contacted the Ladysmith Boys and Girls Club immediately after they were informed of their exposure.
In an email sent to parents on Sunday March 15, the Boys and Girls Club recommended that families who attended Ladysmith Boys and Girls Club programming follow the guidelines set out by the provincial government. Staff from the Ladysmith Boys and Girls Club have been requested to self-isolate at home.
Boys and Girls Club Central Vancouver Island, (BGCCVI) executive director, Karen Love said the steps were taken in the best interests of children, families, and staff.
“The staff member who got the call reached out to their supervisor who is part of our leadership team. On Sunday evening, myself and members of our senior leadership team got together and we had a discussion around what is in the best interests of the parents and the children,” Love said.
After the emails went out to all parents impacted by the exposure, Love went to the Ladysmith location to place signs on the doors informing families the club was closed. Love then sent emails to parents asking to confirm they had received the emails.
“We didn’t know whether the parent was at risk or not, but with the information we got from the parent we felt we had to close and ask our staff to self-isolate,” Love said.
On Tuesday, March 17, BGCCVI, announced that all pre-school, school-based, before and after school, evening, and day camp programs would close at 6:00 pm. The programs will be closed up to and including Friday, March 27, depending on how the situation develops. During that time, each location will be deep cleaned, with the Ladysmith location being cleaned last.
Love said the BGCCVI has made the decision to pay staff who are self-isolating or temporarily out of work for up to two-weeks. Funding for staff comes from program fees, and without any fees coming in, BGCCVI can only afford to pay staff for a two-week period.
“It was a really tough decision for us to close because we’re the biggest childcare provider on the Island,” Love said.
At the time of the reported exposure, the club was operating at 47 percent capacity. The Ladysmith Boys and Girls Club is the only Central Vancouver Island club where COVID-19 exposure has been reported.
Anyone concerned about potential exposure to COVID-19 should follow guidelines from the provincial government available at bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19.