As you know the Yorktown Central School District has closed all schools tomorrow and Friday. While, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the school community, the district, on the advice of it’s Medical Director and the Department of Health, has made this decision to provide a measure of social distancing as a proactive step to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
While we want to do everything we can to help limit the spread of this infection, we recognize that many families rely on us, and that given the current situation they may not have other options. Just as importantly, we also recognize that closing the school will result in situations where elderly family members are forced to provide childcare in our stead. This would put a vulnerable and high-risk group at substantially increased risk of infection. We have also spoke, with and sought advice from local and state health officials, who have not asked us to close. Taking all this into account we have decided to remain open tomorrow. However please read below for important caveats and reminders.
1. If your child is experiencing any respiratory illness symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath, etc) they may not enter the Sunshine Starts building. This comes directly from the updated regulations issued by the New York State Office of Family and Child Services (OCFS). We have been instructed to err on the side of caution. We cannot stress this enough, if your child is experiencing even mild respiratory illness symptoms we are not able to provide care for them. Please make arrangements to be able to pick your child up within 1 hour if they develop any symptoms during the day. Furthermore, if anyone in your household is experiencing any similar symptoms, please keep your child at home.
2. Based on the school district’s decision to close the schools, we will not be able to provide care for school age children tomorrow or Friday. If we were to do otherwise, we would severely undermine the carefully considered actions of the school district. If you have both school-age and preschool children please consider keeping them both home.
3. If you have had contact with any person known to have COVID-19 or a person who is under investigation for possible COVID-19 exposure, or you or anyone in your family is under quarantine, you may not enter the Sunshine Starts building.
4. If you have traveled in the last 14 days to China, Iran, Italy South Korea or Japan, you may not enter the Sunshine Starts building.
While they have not asked us to close, local and state officials have asked that we tell all our families, that if you are at all able to keep your children home, please do so. This would not only help limit their risk of exposure, but also help protect your broader household, as well as help limit the overall spread of the virus throughout our community. The goal of these measures is to get ahead of the infection and to limit the risk of more serious measures such as what we are seeing in New Rochelle.
We will of course take every precaution in the days ahead and continue to increase the intensity and frequency of our health and hygiene procedures. This includes disinfection of all rooms throughout the day as well as at the end of each day. We will also continue to encourage and insist on frequent hand-washing for all our kids.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any concerns.