SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale has been closed due to multiple cases of COVID-19 among club members and staff.
According to a Boys & Girls Clubs spokesperson, more than 20 positive cases have been reported at the youth organization's Vestar Branch, which is located off 40th Street just north of Deer Valley Drive. Masks are currently required at all club branches for kids and employees who have not been fully vaccinated. In addition, all youth members must wear a mask because they're not currently eligible to be vaccinated, the spokesperson said. All staff on the youth side wear masks as well to model the behavior expected for the children.
Ivan Gilreath, CEO and President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, released the following statement:
"Safety is the number one priority of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, and we are doing everything possible to keep children and our staff protected from the COVID-19 virus. Due to multiple recent cases at our Vestar Branch, we closed the Club beginning Wednesday, July 21 and will remain closed through next week. During this time we are requiring all of our Vestar Branch staff to test for COVID. The Club was sanitized by Level4Defense and we continue to work with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health for guidance to ensure a safe reopening. In the meantime, we are advising all our Club staff, families, and youth to continue to take precautions as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)."
"When I heard numbers like that (20 cases), I mean, that was like, really a slap-in-the-face, get-your-attention type number," said Dr. Edward Westerfield, an anesthesiologist who has a granddaughter who was attending the camp. Though she has not tested positive, nor shown symptoms, Westerfield says his granddaughter is disappointed.
"That's where her friends are and that's the other part of being at home. They're at an age where they want to be with their friends," he said.
Westerfield says this is by no means the club's fault, and that it did everything it was supposed to.
"What it tells me is that even somebody as fastidious as the Boys and Girls Club have been -- they're obeying all the distance protocols, mask protocols, everything -- and they still have an outbreak. That's something to be concerned about," he said.
Any community members with questions are encouraged to contact the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale's administrative offices at (480) 344-5520.