COVID-19 preparedness and response plan
How MLC will monitor symptoms of COVID-19
Child care providers are required to check for COVID-19 symptoms when children and staff arrive.
Fever is the key indicator for young children. If a child’s temperature is above 100.4 degrees, the child will be excluded from care. Cough and/or diarrhea in addition to fever is suggestive of coronavirus.
When children arrive:
*Perform temperature checks
*Has your child been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19? (If yes, the family should self-quarantine for 14 days.)
*Has your child felt unwell in the last 3 days? (persistent cough, temperature, difficulty breathing, cold, diarrhea and/or vomiting)
*Visually check the child for signs of illness, including flushed cheeks, rapid or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity), fatigue, or extreme fussiness
Children with a fever alone, or a fever with a cough and/or diarrhea should be isolated from the group and their parents contacted for prompt pick up. Their parents should contact their primary care physician/medical provider.
*Perform temperature checks when staff arrive.
*Screen for cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, change in smell or taste, and diarrhea.
*Staff arriving with fever above 100.4 or other symptoms must be sent home.
*Staff should report contact with anyone outside of work who has had a documented case of COVID-19. Staff should be instructed to self-quarantine if they have been exposed to COVID-19.
How MLC will practice social distancing
*Maintain Consistent Groups Whenever possible, it is strongly recommended that group sizes be kept below 10.
*Consistent adults should remain with groups of similar aged children.
*Contact with external adults and between groups of children should be limited.
*Drop Off and Pick Up Times will be restructured to allow for maximum social distancing.
*Limit the number of people dropping off or picking up a child to one adult.
*Rearranged classrooms to allow more room.
*Eating areas to allow for maximum space between each child.
*Downsized toys & supplies in each classroom.
*Created activity bins for single child use.
*Place cribs and cots at least six feet apart, when possible. Place bedding in head-to-toe positioning. Use partitions when space does not allow for proper spacing.
*Playing outside in the fresh air as much as possible! Staggering times for outdoor play (clean the space in between groups).
How MLC will ensure hygiene
Child care providers are experts in limiting the spread of illness.
*Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
*Continue to cover coughs with a tissue or sleeve.
*Continue to use robust cleaning protocols on at least a daily basis for items touched frequently.
*Common areas require at least a daily deep clean (for example, sinks, bathrooms, doorknobs, tabletops, and shared items).
*Clean toys frequently, especially items that have been in a child’s mouth.
*Limit the number of items brought into the facility because this can be a way to transmit the virus.
*MLC will provide blankets that will be washed weekly or more often if needed at our facility.
*Hand sanitizer will be available inside our vestibule.
How MLC will use safety equipment
Child care providers do not need to wear N95 or surgical masks, smocks, or face shields, however, other protective equipment is appropriate.
Child care providers are required by executive order to establish (and consistently enforce) a policy on when staff members should wear cloth face coverings. Staff members are not required by the state to wear masks while in care. Each providers must decide whether that is necessary and appropriate of their facility/home.
*MLC will provide cloth facing coverings to staff.
Masks or Cloth Face Coverings for Children
*Children do not need to wear a mask when with their consistent group. Medical professionals recognize that many young children will not reliably wear a mask, and a mask may result in increased touching of the face which would negate the purpose of the mask. Young children will take the masks off multiple times a day and in the process the mask will touch the floor and other objects making them a potential source of infection.
*It is recommended that providers wear gloves in a manner consistent with existing licensing rules (for example, gloves should be worn when handling contaminates, changing diapers, cleaning or when serving food). Staff members should wash hands before putting gloves on and immediately after gloves are removed. Gloves are not recommended for broader use.
Communication protocol for families to report symptoms or a positive test and policies on when children will be excluded from care
*Families should report (via email to firstname.lastname@example.org) possible illness if anyone in their household shows symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, including the child or family members if they or their children experience possible symptoms or have a positive test.
*Individuals should stay home and self-isolate if they show symptoms of COVID19.
*If an individual has a fever or a cough, they must be fever free for 72 hours before returning to MLC (even if other symptoms are not present).
*If an individual exhibits multiple symptoms of COVID-19, you suspect possible exposure, or an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the individual must stay home until:
*Has been fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers AND…
*Other symptoms have improved AND…
*At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
Most children and staff members can return to care/work based on improved symptoms and the passage of time. Local health departments may recommend that some individuals (for example, immunocompromised individuals) receive two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart.
in case of symptoms or confirmed cases onsite
Child care providers are a critical part of helping communities limit the spread of the virus.
*Send anyone who becomes symptomatic home immediately. If possible, children and staff should leave care right away if they are ill.
*Isolate people who become ill while in care but can’t leave immediately.
*Report exposure. If a child, staff member, family member, or visitor to our child care becomes ill with COVID-19 symptoms, we must contact our local health department and licensing consultant for next steps.
*Staff and families of children in care are also required to report to the provider if they become symptomatic or receive positive COVID-19 test results.
*In the event we must notify parents if COVID-19 was present in the facility, we will respect the privacy of individuals in our care by not sharing health information of a specific person.
*MLC will determine whether to close the classroom or facility based on guidance from our local health department.
*If an individual in a classroom is identified with a positive test for COVID-19 the classroom will be closed, cleaned and everyone in that classroom should be quarantined for 14 days initially.
*MLC will contact our local health department for guidance and best practices and to determine if our entire facility must close.
How MLC will maintain ratios in the event that a staff member becomes ill
*MLC will utilize the office personnel in a classroom.
*Children may be combined into another classroom while still maintaining ratios and limiting exposure as safely as possible. (combining siblings).