PARKERSBURG, W. Va. (WTAP) - UPDATE: 03/25/2020
With governor Jim Justice's "Stay Home" order going into effect on Tuesday night, all non-essential services have been ordered to close.
The YMCA in Parkersburg operates as a health and fitness center, which is considered non-essential. Their main purpose, however, is to be a mission to serve the community, which in times like these, is essential.
The YMCA is continuing to offer and expand their child care services. They are now having children congregate in groups of six or fewer, and are moving their children around to different rooms of the building.
"Those people who are working in those essential capacities such as 911, Police, fire, a lot of our health care workers, that's who we're here to serve," said YMCA of Parkersburg CEO Jeff Olson. "The importance now is to understand that YMCA is not only a health and fitness center, it's a cause, and that cause is to better serve our community and in the time of a pandemic such as this, we will be here to serve the community in whatever way we are able to moving forward."
ORIGINAL STORY: 03/17/2020
With schools closing in the area, finding child care can be challenging for parents.
The YMCA of Parkersburg wants the community to know that they will keep their doors open for children who need supervision while their parents work.
They have guidelines they will follow from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including taking the children's temperatures every morning, along with the rest of the staff.
The YMCA understands that it is up to the discretion of the parent on whether to place their children in this type of care, but they want to continue to help out.
"We realize that bringing your child to YMCA is completely optional," said CEO Jeff Olson. "We want to be available as a resource for those that truly need us. But we also want to make sure that we're practicing the CDC recommendations. So, we have the kids wash their hands every hour, we're timing how long it takes to wash their hands. We've posted information throughout the facility in every room."
The children will be kept in small groups, no larger than 8, and will be monitored constantly about hand-washing and sanitation.