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Daycares staying open despite coronavirus outbreak; Health department gives all clear

Updated: Mar. 19, 2020 at 10:46 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - For most parents, daycare is not only a convenience, but a necessity.

That’s why Cheryl Tucker, assistant director of Learning Hope Center in Flowood, is doing her part to help parents adjust to a new normal.

“We are doing all we can to keep your child safe," she said. "We are keeping everything clean and we want to ask parents to do the same at home.”

One burning question many people have asked is: How are schools and gyms shut down but daycare centers remain open?

Well, the State Department of Health said that’s because unlike other businesses, daycares are considered fairly safe, provided sensible hygiene practices are followed.

Unlike older adults and kids, young children are unlikely to get coronavirus or become very ill from it. This makes the risk of working there low as well.

“It’s all kind of surreal. You don’t ever think that you will be the one to have these kids with you and to make sure they all say healthy and safe,” said Chelsea Scarbrough, who teaches four-year-old’s at Hope Learning Center.

The health department says ultimately, it’s up to the daycare provider whether they will remain open.

At Hope Learning Center, practicing good hygiene is the best defense.

“The main thing we are doing is sanitizing a lot more than we were. We were always doing it, but a lot more now," said Tucker. “We are focusing more on keeping kids’ hands clean, more soap and water, more hand sanitizer. Making sure they keep their hands away from their face, eyes, and out of their mouth.”

Extra safety precautions put in place include checking children’s temperature before they walk in the door.

“If you have 100.5 temps, you have to be fever free to come back to daycare. No runny nose. No fever. No coughing,” Tucker added.

The department of health says so far, they have not seen any spread of the virus inside daycare walls and will continue to monitor them closely.

Staff at Hope Learning Center assures parents that their child remains in good hands.

“We have to be more cautious because at the end of the day. We do not want to get any other kids sick," said Tucker.

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