COVID-19 RESPONSE

COVID-19 Response

The health and well-being of our families and Teaching Staff are our highest priorities. COVID-19 is a contagious disease that can be transmitted from people who are infected with the virus even if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are mild, such as a cough.  Additionally, exposure is possible by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes.  Northeastern Child Care Services will follow the CDC guidance to the best of our ability and abide by the following disease control measures to protect our child care community.

  • Prohibit any person except the following from accessing our child care centers: operational staff; persons with legal authority to enter, including law enforcement officers, Child Care Licensing Staff, CPS staff; children enrolled at the center; and parents who have children enrolled and present at the center.
  • Before allowing entry into the centers, screen all the individuals listed above, including taking the temperature of each person upon arrival at the center each day, and deny for fourteen (14) days or until the person presents medical verification of a NEGATIVE COVID-19 test, or letter from their physician stating they are symptom free and not contagious for ANY person who meets any of the following criteria:
    • A temperature of 100.4 degrees F or above;
    • Signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and low-grade fever;
    • Signs or symptoms of diarrhea, chills and/or repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache and loss of taste or smell;
    • In the previous fourteen (14) days has had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19; is under investigation for COVID-19; or is ill with a respiratory illness, or
    • In the previous fourteen (14) days has traveled internationally to countries OR domestically to states or counties with widespread, sustained community transmission.
  • Require pick up and drop off of children outside of the center at the front entryway, unless we determine that there is a legitimate need for a parent to enter a center. Drop off and pick up will be done one family at a time, maintaining six (6) feet social distancing between families outside the drop off/pick up area.  We will mark the appropriate waiting distance using signs, tape or traffic cones.  Restrict the use of bookbags, diaper bags and any toys or items from home.  Parents must bring supplies in disposable bags on a weekly basis.  If supplies need to be exchanged, use gloves and avoid contact as much as possible.
  • Meals and snack will not be served family style. They will be plated and served individually.
  • Clean and sanitize high contact surfaces throughout the day, hand washing frequently and thoroughly clean the entire center nightly or prior to open.
  • Families will remain out of the center if any member of their household, which includes individuals who may not live in the household but may be staying there or are otherwise present on a regular basis (e.g. nannies, caregivers, home health workers, contractors, etc.) and includes anyone with pick up or drop off privileges at the center, has or has been in close contact with anyone who has:
    • A suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 (for example – close contact at school, work, religious service, social gathering); or
    • Traveled:
      •  internationally;
      • domestically, from an area which is experiencing widespread community transmission of COVID-19; or
      • from any area which is the subject of similar travel restrictions under applicable state and local guidance.

Fourteen (14) days after the last potential exposure, your household may return provided these three things have happened:

  1. At least ten (10) days have passed since any household member first experienced symptoms; AND
  2. Other symptoms have improved for any household member that experienced symptoms (for example, cough or shortness of breath has improved); AND
  3. The household has been fever-free for at least seventy-two (72) hours (that is three (3) full days of no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines.)

Please note, depending on the circumstances we may require you to obtain medical clearance before return to the center will be allowed.

A potential exposure means being a household contact or having close contact within six (6) feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 for at least ten (10) minutes.  The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of forty-eight (48) hours before the individual became symptomatic.”

  • All Teaching Staff, families, children and their household members must conduct a daily health check before coming to the center. Should any household member have any of the following symptoms, we ask you to remain out that day and notify the center.
    • Fever of 100.4 F or higher, now or in the preceding 72 hours
    • Cough
    • Sore Throat
    • Muscle Aches/Pain
    • Difficulty Breathing
    • Diarrhea
    • Chills and/or repeated shaking with chills
    • Headache
    • Loss of taste or smell

Consistent with our COVID-19 Policy, the household will be required to remain out of the center for 14 days unless medical clearance is provided by a physician indicating that the presenting symptoms are associated with a known non-COVID-19 illness.  The physician’s note must not be from a family member.

  • If your child becomes sick while in attendance at the center, exclusion from the facility is sometimes necessary to reduce the transmission of illness. For your child’s comfort, and to reduce the risk of contagion, we ask that children be picked up within one (1) hour of notification. Until then, your child will be kept comfortable and will continue to be observed for symptoms.

Heightened Protocols

We are continually updating our policies, procedures, processes and protocols in accordance with the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.  We are encouraging our centers to maintain small group sizes and practice social distancing to the best of our ability, given the ever-changing circumstances and variation in guidance across states and localities.  All staff will be trained thoroughly on health and safety guidelines.

Our centers have developed additional procedures to try and minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  They include:

  • Screening both children and staff before entry to the facility. The use of routine daily health check tools will be used to exclude children with signs/symptoms of illness (regardless of whether or not child shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19).
  • Minimal contact at drop off and pick up. The designated person assigned to drop off and pick up a child should not be a “vulnerable” person (older person such as a grandparent or person with a serious underlying medical condition).
  • Excluding children and staff with any of these symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills or repeated shaking with chills, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, muscle aches/pain, diarrhea, headache.
  • Wearing of masks or cloth face coverings by all Teaching Staff and children enrolled.
  • Providing all PPE required to operate a safe, sanitary environment for Teaching Staff, children and parents/guardians.
  • Implementing social distancing practices that include: increased spacing, maintaining groups of children together throughout the day, keeping siblings together when practicable, keeping Teaching Staff consistent with group of children and maintaining larger distances between children during nap time.  Children and staff will not change groups or mix groups.  All children will be assigned their own room for the entire day with the same caregivers for each group.  We will undertake all opportunities to increase physical space between children.
  • Meticulous hand washing.
  • Nonessential visitors will not be allowed into the center.
  • Personal items must be left home (backpacks, toys, stuffed animals, etc.) These items can carry the viral droplets.
  • Arrival and departure of children will occur outside the facility door or weather permitting, outdoors, with staggered arrival and drop off times. Children will be escorted to and from their classrooms.
  • Stagger arrival and departure times. This approach can limit the amount of close contact between children and families in high-traffic situations and times.
  • Intense cleaning and disinfecting of high touch surfaces and toys and ensuring adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene practices and cleaning and disinfection procedures.
  • The development of information-sharing systems with parents and stakeholders to be used for day-to-day reporting and disease surveillance efforts to detect and respond to an outbreak.
  • Teaching and the reinforcing of healthy hygiene practices and cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
  • The monitoring and planning for absenteeism to ensure the continuity of care and learning.
  • The establishment of procedures for students and staff who become sick at the center.
  • Avoid mixing students during outdoor time. Outdoor time will be staggered rather than allowing multiple programs to play together.
  • Adjust activities and procedures to limit sharing of items such as toys, belongings, supplies and equipment

Please see the CDC guidelines for current guidance on best practices for protecting yourself and your household during this pandemic: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

We recommend that all caregivers and families be familiar with the CDC’s recommendations around cloth face coverings available [https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html]. The CDC generally recommends individuals wearing cloth face coverings to protect people around the wearer of the cloth face mask, in the event the wearer is infected but not symptomatic, to reduce the spread of COVID-19.   This guidance does not apply to children 2 or under, or to those who are advised not to wear a face covering for other health reasons. Cloth face coverings are NOT a substitute for social distancing, hand washing or other everyday preventative actions.

We appreciate your attention to these important guidelines. Contact us at with any questions at 570-341-0811 or through our website www.nechildcare.org.

This policy will be updated to reflect all requirements and regulations per CDC and OCDEL guidelines.

 

Updated July 8, 2020

May 26, 2020

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