Day care centres and summer camps to reopen

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Day care centres and summer camps to reopen

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie says effective July 21, day care centres and summer day camps can began reopening, but only under strict conditions.

McKenzie, who made the announcement while speaking in the House of Representatives today, said the initial period of reopening will last for 10 days, ending on July 31.

He said that while the Ministry of Health and Wellness has approved protocols, parents are not mandated to send their children to the facilities.

"Mr Speaker, before I announce the main protocols that will govern day care centres, I want to make it clear that parents and guardians are not required to send their youngsters to these facilities. It is a matter of choice," McKenzie said.

The protocols for day care centres are;

• Where possible, staff should be tested before being approved to work. There must be temperature checks of all persons on each entry to the day care centre.

• There must be adequate staff supervision of children, using the following ratio: children 0–12 months- 1 adult to 5 children; children 13–35 months -1 adult to 8 children; children 3–5 years - 1 adult to 10 children.

• There must be multiple thermometers available for screening children, and these devices should be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Anyone with a fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius or higher) must be sent home.

• Children must be observed for signs of runny nose, cough, fever, or gastro-intestinal symptoms. There must be an isolation area for anyone who exhibits symptoms.

• All rooms must be cleaned and sanitised at least twice daily. Restrooms are to be cleaned and disinfected every hour. Frequently touched areas as well as toys must be sanitised frequently. Toys made from cloth must not be used.

• Seating and sleeping areas must be rearranged to ensure at least 3 to 6 feet between each child. Large groups must not be allowed in common areas.

The protocols for summer day camps are:

• Camps are allowed to open between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

• The use of touchless trash cans is encouraged to provide a hands-free way to dispose of tissues and contaminants.

• Seating and sleeping areas must be rearranged to ensure at least 3 to 6 feet between each child.

• Large groups must not be allowed in common areas.

• Play equipment must be spaced at least 6 feet apart. Play equipment that cannot be spaced 6 feet apart must be closed.

• Exercise and play must only be done outdoors with the necessary supervision, physical distancing and the washing of hands before and after with soap and water.

• Bus trips and other excursions must be done in compliance to physical distancing, mask-wearing and sanitisation protocols. There must be no standing in the bus, and hand sanitisation must be done before entering the vehicle.

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