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Church closes daycare after staffer tests positive for COVID-19

(KJCT)
Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 7:50 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -Covenant United Methodist Church will temporarily close its daycare after a staff member tested positive for coronavirus.

“We feel the best decision at this time is to close our daycare facilities for two weeks “We understand this may present a difficult situation for you given the short notice, but please know the safety of your child remains our top priority,” the church said in a letter sent to parents Sunday.

All staffers were tested last week after confirmation that an infant at the daycare had contracted the disease, according to the letter.

The Dothan church also closed its Sunday child care because many of the same rooms used for weekday childcare are also used on Sunday.

Here is the letter sent to parents:

June 28, 2020

Dear Covenant Preschool and Childcare families,

As you are all aware, on Thursday we had an infant in our daycare program test positive for COVID-19.

The child had not been in attendance since Wednesday and had shown no symptoms while on our campus. We worked swiftly to notify our parents with children enrolled in our program as well as daycare staff that had been in contact with the child. We made the decision to close on Friday and hire a professional cleaning company to disinfect our building. We also decided to cancel all childcare for our Sunday morning services. Even though our daycare program and nurseries for worship services are different, there is overlap with the rooms used for both.

While none of our daycare staff was symptomatic, we decided to send every teacher that was in contact with the child to be tested for COVID-19.

Late this afternoon, one of those tests has returned positive.

We feel the best decision at this time is to close our daycare facilities for two weeks effective immediately. We understand this may present a difficult situation for you given the short notice, but please know the safety of your child remains our top priority. There will be no childcare charges for the next two weeks.

Our Senior Pastor, Hays, continues to remind us that our reopening as both a church and a daycare is a fluid situation, and we are thankful for wise leadership during these uncertain times. The choice to close our daycare for two weeks is not one we make lightly, but it is necessary to ensure the safety of everyone.

In the days moving forward, we ask that you pray for all those affected, especially the infant and teacher that have tested positive, and any anxiety this situation may be causing our families and staff.

With health and safety paramount, we have been following guidance from the CDC, state, and local health officials, abiding by requirements as mandated with extreme care to maintain a healthy school environment. We have enhanced our already rigorous hygiene, cleaning, and sanitation protocols.

Staff and children are screened upon arrival for symptoms, with temperatures taken. Wellness checks are conducted throughout the day to ensure that staff can respond accordingly if any potential sign of illness is detected. All school parents remain outside rather than entering the school building. We have also provided protective face coverings for all staff members to wear when working at school with children. You can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov) for strategies that may help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Just as with this case, your choices not only affect you but also people with which you have contact.

We will update you on any changes. As always, please contact one of us directly with any concerns. We will be happy to speak with you and answer your questions.

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