By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
Two organizations that aim to support children and teens in Central Oregon have been hit hard by COVID-19 outbreaks.
Five COVID-19 cases were reported at the Boys and Girls Club downtown location between Dec. 4 and Dec. 9.
In a statement, Executive Director Juliana Williams said the cases were staff members.
While working with Deschutes County Public Health, Boys and Girls Club leadership determined the staff break room was the hot spot. The virus spread while staff was unmasked and eating lunch, Williams said.
Because of the outbreak, all Boys and Girls Club locations are closed until Jan. 4.
Williams said they’ll implement new preventative measures when they reopen.
Across town, 30 cases are tied to the J Bar J Stabilization Center, which is a center that works with at-risk youth.
CEO Stephanie Alvstad said the outbreak began in October and has been contained. The Oregon Health Authority still listed the center as an “active outbreak” in this its weekly COVID-19 report. Alvstad said they haven’t had any new cases in over a month.
Morgan Emerson with Deschutes County Public Health said they’ll work with any organization to plan preventative measures the organization can implement to avoid big outbreaks.
“We recommend keeping groups smaller, keeping groups consistent and making those plans in advance,” Emerson said. “We offer consultations free through the health department. People can go to Deschutes.org/COVID-19 for information on that and be able to call us to set up an appointment to talk through their plans and troubleshoot so they have the best possible mitigation practices.”