Gov't says day-care centres must meet public health protocols

Gov't says day-care centres must meet public health protocols

Thursday, October 22, 2020

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THE Ministry of Education and Youth says day-care centres and early childhood institutions will continue to be permitted to operate, but warned that they are subject to the provisions of the current Disaster Risk Management Order in terms of limiting possible spread of the coronavirus.

A release from the ministry said operators are required to ensure, among other things, that signage, appropriately customised for children and adults, advising of all the applicable health protocols for the centre, conspicuously placed throughout the centre, including at each entrance.

“The staff of the centre are to be trained in, and sensitised to all the health protocols, and at the start of each day of operation the children at the centre are to be instructed about health protocols and safe practices (such as properly covering the nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing) to minimise the transmission of flu-like viruses,” said the release.

“Prior to reporting for work for the first time during the period, each person employed for work at the centre is required to be tested for the SARS – CoV-2 (coronavirus COVID-19), and shall not be permitted at the centre unless cleared as healthy for work,” the release said.

In the meantime, operators of the centres are to ensure that there is sufficient staff to ensure proper supervision of children at all times.

The order advises of permitted ratios of:

• One adult to five children, for each group of children aged under 13 months;

• One adult to eight children for each group of children aged over 13 months, but less than three years;

• One adult to 10 children, for each group of children aged over three years but less than five years. Each person, other than a child aged five years or less, at the centre must wear a mask covering their nose and mouth.

At the same time, temperature checks are to be conducted on each person entering the centre, and no one with a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius (or higher) shall be permitted to enter. And anyone at the centre who develops a fever, other flu-like symptoms or gastrointestinal symptoms must be sent home. The Disaster Risk Management Order (No 14) also stipulates guidelines for temperature checks, sanitising equipment and toys and disposal of garbage.

Operators of day-care centres were also advised that exercise and play shall only take place outdoors, with appropriate supervision to ensure adherence to social distancing requirements and applicable health protocols, including the washing of hands with soap and water before and after such exercise or play.


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