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Important Novel Coronavirus Update

Dear Sunshine Families,
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) has issued updated guidelines for childcare facilities in light of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. There is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of the children you place in our care. Therefore, Sunshine Starts is taking these guidelines very seriously and as a result we will be implementing a number of changes. Before outlining these new procedures let me remind everyone that currently, we do not have any confirmed cases or persons under investigation of having COVID-19 in our Sunshine Starts community.
Starting Thursday morning (3/12) we ask that each individual entering the center answer the following 3 questions:
1. Have you traveled to a country for which the CDC has issued a Level 2 or 3 travel designation (currently South Korea, Iran, Italy, China, Japan) within the last 14 days?
2. Have you had contact with any Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) for COVID-19 within the last 14 days, OR with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19?
3. Do you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, fever, or shortness of breath)?
In accordance with updated guidelines from DOH/OCFS, if you answer “yes” to any of the above for you or your child, you MUST refrain from entering any childcare facility and call your doctor to assess the risk of COVID-19 exposure. If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection (cough, sore throat, fever, or shortness of breath) you may only enter a childcare facility after being explicitly cleared to do so by a doctor.
As I stated at the onset, there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our Sunshine Starts community. Therefore we have chosen to go beyond these guidelines. If anyone in your household answers yes to any of the questions above, please keep your children home and contact the Department of Health. It is our understanding that in such situations a self-quarantine is ordered by DOH.
Under the updated guidelines, if a school has a confirmed case of COVID-19, the school will be required to close for an initial 24-hour period. This is to allow the Department of Health to conduct and investigation and to contact any individuals that need to self-quarantine. We would also use this period to thoroughly disinfect the entire facility. Furthermore, we are in close contact with local officials and school superintendents and if the Yorktown school district closes, we would do as as well. This is out of an abundance of caution, and again to allow time for DOH to contact any individuals that will need to self-quarantine.
Following these guidelines and procedures will not only help protect the children and staff at Sunshine Starts, but also elderly and other high-risk groups within the broader Sunshine Starts community. I understand that these guidelines could cause major inconvenience, and we sincerely apologize for that. However, we feel that these measures are an appropriately cautious response to the current situation.
What you can do now:
  • Please be sure that emails from Smartcare do not go into your Spam folder by setting up filter rules and by adding to your address book.
  • Please allow extra time at drop off and pick up for increased screening time and hand washing. We ask that all parents (not teachers) wash their child’s and their own hands upon arrival.
  • Lastly, please take some time over the next day or 2 to confirm your contact information in the main office – it is important that all the information on your blue card is correct and that all the information in Smartcare is correct. This will greatly aid quick communication with families/doctors if necessary.
I will continue to keep you updated as I receive additional information. Please be assured that as always we are routinely disinfecting and sanitizing rooms and toys. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out