DPH Officials Recommend Child Care Centers to Remain Open

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As Delaware moves into two weeks of public school closures – Public Health officials are not recommending the closure of non-public school child care settings.  Based on advice from the CDC and data from the 74,000 cases of coronavirus in China – only 2% of individuals under the age of 19 tested positive for the virus.  Children appear to be less vulnerable to this virus.  Officials at DPH say child care centers are controlled environments with small classroom sizes – it’s known who’s coming in and out and who’s sick.  And access can be restricted to help reduce risk.  Public Health advises parents to continue sending their kids to child care to help provide structure. 

Suggested preventive measures that child care facilities should include:

  • Increase handwashing procedures throughout the day for staff and children using soap and water and scrubbing vigorously for at least 20 seconds.
  • Remind adults and children to avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Strictly enforce the child care facility’s illness policy for both children and staff.
  • Separate sick students and adults from others until they can go home.
  • Rigorously implement cleaning for toys and surfaces.
  • Remove and sanitize mouthed toys immediately.
  • Regularly launder soft items such as washable plush toys, bedding, and clothing.

More information on guidance for child care facilities is available online at the CDC website.

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or email DPHCall@delaware.gov. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.