SOURCES OF GUIDANCE
As we plan our reopening, we depend on the expertise of the following authorities:
- Pennsylvania Office for Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (DED)
- Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS)
- Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH)
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Lancaster Early Education Center (LEEC)
EXPECT MORE CHANGES
It is important to note that we expect changes in the procedures that follow. At all times, we are committed to the practices that best support the health and safety of children, staff and families. Please specifically note the following:
- Any guidance in this document may be overridden by directives from any of the aforementioned authorities listed above.
- If Lancaster County reverts back to the Red or Yellow Phase of COVID-19, child care centers will likely be required to close again.
- Travel restrictions to the states listed on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website [https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Travelers.aspx] recommend travelers self-quarantine, monitoring for health symptoms, for 14 days before leaving home. Children who have been to any of these locations must be quarantined at home for 14 days before returning to care at LEEC.
- All families and staff will have to sign an acknowledgment and disclosure form that addresses their responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic at LEEC.
- Non-Essential visitors may not be permitted on the premises.
- All families must be enrolled in Tuition Express. Cash, checks & money orders are no longer accepted.
- Parents must provide a face covering (mask) for their children. Face shields are not acceptable.
Monitoring Children & Staff Health
Monitoring children and staff for symptoms and history of exposure:
Staff, children & families will be screened upon arrival. Persons who have a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above, or other signs of illness will not be admitted to the facility. Parents should be on the alert for signs of illness in their children and keep them home when they are sick. Additional screenings will occur throughout the day as needed. Persons will not be permitted in the facility who have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms or have recently had potential exposure with a person with COVID-19. Parents / Children / Drop Off & Pick Up Persons will not be permitted in the facility if they have been exposed. A doctor’s note will be required for safe re-entry into our facility.
Isolating or quarantining children, staff, or visitors if they become sick or demonstrate a history of exposure:
Persons will not be permitted in the facility who have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms or have recently had potential exposure with a person with COVID-19. If, by chance, someone becomes sick while inside the facility, they will be required to stay in the designated area (away from others). If a child becomes sick while in care, parents are required to pick up their child within 30 minutes.
Returning isolated or quarantined staff, children, or visitors to the facility:
Exposure is defined as being within 6 feet of the individual who tests positive for COVID-19 for a period of 15 minutes or more. It also means coming into direct contact with droplets from a COVID-19 positive individual. Persons who test positive are considered infectious 48 hours before the onset of symptoms. Persons testing positive but do not have symptoms are considered infectious 2 days after exposure (if known) or starting 2 days before test date (if exposure is unknown). If anyone entering the facility is exposed to an individual who tests positive for COVID-19:
Parents / Children / Drop Off & Pick Up Persons will not be permitted in the facility if they have been exposed. A doctor’s note will be required for safe re-entry into our facility.
– We shall inform parents of enrolled children when there is a suspected outbreak of a communicable disease or an outbreak of an unusual illness that represents a public health emergency in the opinion of the Department of Health as per 55 Pa. Code §3270.136(b), §3280.136(b), and §3290.136(b).
– We will report when a staff person, child, or household member tests positive for COVID-19 case to the DHS and DOH.
Notifying staff and families of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19:
We will use the parent app & email to inform parents of enrolled children when there is a suspected outbreak of a communicable disease or an outbreak of an unusual illness that represents a public health emergency in the opinion of the Department of Health as per 55 Pa. Code §3270.136(b), §3280.136(b), and §3290.136(b).
Reporting to DOH and Certification:
DOH will be notified by calling 1-877-724-3258.
DHS will be notified by calling 1-800-222-2117 and the following information will be provided: The name of the facility, address including the county, the number of cases, and we will identify if the positive case is a staff person, child or family member.
Other monitoring and screening practices:
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: • Fever or chills • Cough • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • Fatigue • Muscle or body aches • Headache • New loss of taste or smell • Sore throat • Congestion or runny nose • Nausea or vomiting • Diarrhea. Staff will monitor children for these symptoms on a regular basis throughout the day & will notify the pandemic coordinator immediately if a symptom presents.
Notifying staff and families of facility closures:
The facility will close the area/classroom for a period of 24 hours following the confirmed positive COVID-19 case of a child or staff member in attendance so that the facility can be cleaned and disinfected properly. This will be communicated to all staff and families through the parent app & email.
Other Considerations for Children and Staff
Visitors may not be permitted in the program until further notice.
Protecting children and staff at higher risk for severe illness & Unique safety protocols for children with complex needs or other vulnerable individuals:
LEEC will encourage staff and children who are at higher risk to consult with their healthcare providers prior to returning to work/care within the center. While protocols including those listed below will be
implemented, the individual/guardian of the individual should discuss their individual concerns with their healthcare provider prior to returning to the facility.
-Staff and children over age 2 required to wear masks
-Screening upon entering the facility
-Limited individuals permitted in the facility
-Disinfecting of toys, materials, etc.
-Communication of confirmed COVID-19 cases to these individuals so they may follow up with their healthcare providers
Strategic deployment of staff:
Staff will be assigned to classroom(s) of children and staff/ child as well as staff/staff interactions outside those assigned locations will be limited. Staffing will be adjusted with floating teachers to cover absences with individuals who are assigned to particular age groups of children to limit exposure. A staff person or member of administration will be available to remain in isolation with a child who has symptoms of COVID- 19 until they can be released to an authorized pick up person.