Michael Baker, CEO of United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County

The United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County is bouncing back from a false alarm after it had to temporarily shut its doors on Monday when a child member at its East Canon Perdido Street club was reported to have contracted COVID-19 — but it turned out to be a false positive.

“The safety of parents, kids, and staff is our number-one priority,” said CEO Michael Baker on Tuesday. “Now the story has completely changed with the false positive, so we will hopefully open back up tomorrow.”

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Baker said he was first notified by the child’s parents around 11 a.m. on Monday that the child had tested positive for the virus, and staff members immediately began calling parents to pick up their children so that everyone was cleared out by 2:30 p.m. The facility has since been deep cleaned and all staff were required to get tested before the club could reopen, until Baker received a call from the Public Health Department that the test had actually been a false positive.

The Santa Barbara Boys & Girls Club merged with the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County earlier this month. Baker said the merger will continue its operations with the same protocol that has been in place since the pandemic hit.

“When Public Health came, they were really impressed with our procedures we already had in place,” Baker said. “All of the kids wear masks, and everyone gets a temperature check and has to answer ‘no’ to all symptoms on the checklist before they can enter,” Baker said.

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