Smiling Faces Academy
COVID-19 PREPARDNESS PLAN
The current medical wisdom says that wearing a mask can cut down on the spread of COVID-19. We ask that Parents /Guardians wear masks during drop-off, pick-up and any other interactions with staff.
SOURCE CONTROL AND CLOTH FACE COVERINGS – Cloth face coverings are an important piece for mitigating the spread of the virus but are most effective if it can stay in place without being pulled on or touched by the person wearing it or others. All staff working in an indoor care setting are required to wear a face covering in communal areas (e.g., center hallways, lobbies, restrooms, break rooms, storage rooms, office etc.) where groups may intermix. Alternatively, staff may wear a face shield (clear plastic shield that covers the forehead, extends below the chin, and wraps around the sides of the face). Food service staff are required to wear masks in the kitchen at all times, when handling food and during all interactions with adults and children.
• Children are not required to wear cloth face coverings unless they can reliably wear, remove, and handle the cloth face covering throughout the day. Cloth face coverings will NOT be put on infants or children younger than 2 because of the danger of suffocation.
SCREENING - All Children and staff are screened upon arrival each day, which includes taking temperatures. Persons who have a fever of 100.40 (38.00C) or above or other signs of illness will not be admitted to the facility. Please be on the alert for signs of illness in your children and keep them home when they are sick. Staff will use personal protective equipment while conducting temperature screenings.
Social Distancing during Screening
• Parents/guardians are asked to take their child’s temperature upon arrival at the facility. Our designated staff member will stand at least 6 feet away from the parent/guardian and child.
• Parents/guardians are asked to confirm that the child does not have fever, shortness of breath or cough.
• Staff will also make a visual inspection of the child for signs of illness which could include flushed cheeks, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity), fatigue, or extreme fussiness. Staff will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) if they are within 6 feet.
SAFE DROP-OFF & PICK-UP - Smiling Faces Academy is implementing a staggering arrival and drop off policy. Staff will meet families at the main entrance of our facility to greet and screen children as they arrive. Only one family will be admitted in the doorway at one time, in effort to limit direct contact between parents and staff members and adhere to social distancing recommendations. A staff member will also walk each child from their classrooms to meet their parents/guardians at pick up.
Hand hygiene stations with hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is next to parent sign-in sheets; So that children can clean their hands before they enter. Hand sanitizer will be out of reach of children and will be used with adult supervision. Children will be directed by staff to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, before they enter each classroom.
Infants should be transported in their car seats. Car seats will be out of children’s reach. Ideally, the same parent or designated person should drop off and pick up the child every day. If possible, older people such as grandparents or those with serious underlying medical conditions should not pick up children, because they are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
SOCIAL DISTANCE THROUGHOUT THE DAY
We work with our local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for our community’s situation. Smiling Faces Academy will use preparedness strategies and consider the following social distancing strategies: Staff will limit group sizes as much as possible and create consistent groups of children and providers, staff, or volunteers who stay together throughout the day. We have postponed all special events such as festivals, holiday events, and special performances. We have also halted daily group activities that may promote transmission. We have limited mixing of children, such as staggering playground times and keeping groups separate for special activities such as art, music, and exercise. At nap time, we ensure that children’s nap-time mats (or cribs) are spaced out 6 feet apart. Children will be placed head to toe in order to further reduce the potential for viral spread.
HEALTHY HAND HYGIENE BEHAVIOR
All children, staff, and volunteers engage in hand hygiene at the following times:
• Arrival to the facility and after breaks
• Before and after preparing food or drinks
• Before and after eating or handling food, or feeding children
• Before and after administering medication or medical ointment
• Before and after diapering
• After using the toilet or helping a child use the bathroom
• After coming in contact with bodily fluid
• After handling animals or cleaning up animal waste
• After playing outdoors or in sand
• After handling garbage
Hands are washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If hands are not visibly dirty, alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used if soap and water are not readily available. Children are supervised when they use hand sanitizer to prevent ingestion. Children are assisted with hand washing, including infants who cannot wash hands alone. After assisting children with hand washing, staff washes their hands. Posters describing hand washing steps are near sinks.
CLEAN AND DISINFECT
Caring for Our Children external icon (CFOC) provides national standards for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection of educational facilities for children. Toys that can be put in the mouth are cleaned and sanitized (see below). Other hard surfaces, including diaper changing stations, door knobs, and floors are disinfected.
Intensify cleaning and disinfection efforts: Our Facility has developed a schedule for cleaning and disinfecting.
Smiling Faces Academy, routinely clean, sanitize, and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, especially toys and games. This includes cleaning objects/surfaces not ordinarily cleaned daily such as doorknobs, light switches, classroom sink handles, countertops, nap pads, toilet training potties, desks, chairs, cubbies, and playground structures.
Smiling Faces Academy uses approved sanitizers and disinfectants. We use all cleaning products according to the directions on the label. For disinfection, most common EPA-registered, fragrance-free household disinfectants are used. A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available. If surfaces are dirty, they are cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. We always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for concentration, application method, and contact time for all cleaning and disinfection products.
We provide EPA-registered disposable wipes to staff so that commonly used surfaces such as keyboards, desks, and remote controls can be wiped down before use. All cleaning materials are kept secure and out of reach of children. Cleaning products are not be used near children, and staff ensures that there is adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent children from inhaling toxic fumes.
FOOD PREPARATION AND MEAL SERVICE
• Meals are served in classroom, Family-style meals have been halted
• Food preparation is not done by the same staff who diaper children.
• Sinks used for food preparation are not used for any other purposes.
• Caregivers ensure children wash their hands prior to and immediately after eating.
• Caregivers wash their hands before preparing food and after helping children to eat.
Our Facility follows all other applicable federal, state, and local regulations and guidance external icon related to safe preparation of food.
CLEAN AND SANITIZE TOYS - Toys that cannot be cleaned and sanitized are not used.
Toys that children have placed in their mouths or that are otherwise contaminated by body secretions or excretions are set aside until they are cleaned by hand by a person wearing gloves.
STEPS: Clean with water and detergent, rinse, sanitize with an EPA-registered sanitizer and let air dry. We may also clean in a mechanical dishwasher. We are mindful of items more likely to be placed in a child’s mouth, like play food, dishes, and utensils.
Machine washable cloth toys are not being used at all at this time. When used Machine washable cloth toys are used by one individual, these toys are laundered before being used by another child.
We do not share toys with other groups of infants or toddlers, unless they are washed and sanitized before being moved from one group to the other.
We set aside toys that need to be cleaned. They are placed in a container of soap and water marked for “soiled toys.” This container is kept out of reach from children to prevent risk of drowning. Washing with soapy water is the ideal method for cleaning. They are then sanitized. We provide enough toys so that the toys can be rotated through cleanings.
Children’s books, like other paper-based materials such as mail or envelopes, are not considered a high risk for transmission and do not need additional cleaning or disinfection procedures.
CLEAN AND DISINFECT BEDDING - Smiling Faces Academy uses bedding (sheets, pillows, blankets, sleeping bags) that can be washed. Each child’s bedding is kept separate, and stored in individually labeled bins, cubbies, or bags. Cots and mats are labeled for each child. Bedding that touches a child’s skin is cleaned weekly or before use by another child.
CARING FOR INFANT AND TODDLERS (DIAPERING) - When diapering a child, staff washes their hands and wash the child’s hands before they begin, and wear gloves. We follow safe diaper changing procedures. Procedures are posted in all diaper changing areas. Steps include:
• Prepare (includes putting on gloves)
• Clean the child
• Remove trash (soiled diaper and wipes)
• Replace diaper
• Wash child’s hands
• Clean up diapering station
• Wash hands
After diapering, staff washed their hands (even if you were wearing gloves) and disinfect the diapering area with a fragrance-free bleach that is EPA-registered as a sanitizing or disinfecting solution. If other products are used for sanitizing or disinfecting, they are also fragrance-free and EPA-registered. All surfaces are cleaned with soap and water and rinsed with water prior to disinfection.
WASHING, FEEDING OR HOLDING A CHILD
It is important to comfort crying, sad, and/or anxious infants and toddlers, and they often need to be held. To the extent possible, when washing, feeding, or holding very young children: Staff protect themselves and the child by wearing an over-large button-down, long sleeved shirt and by wearing long hair up off the collar in a ponytail or other updo. Staff washes their hands, neck, and anywhere touched by a child’s secretions. Staff change the child’s clothes if secretions are on the child’s clothes. They change the button-down shirt, if there are secretions on it, and wash their hands again.
Contaminated clothes are placed in a plastic bag or washed in a washing machine. Infants, toddlers, and their providers are required to have multiple changes of clothes on hand in the facility.Staff will wash their hands before and after handling infant bottles prepared at home or prepared in the facility. Bottles, bottle caps, nipples, and other equipment used for bottle-feeding is thoroughly cleaned after each use by washing in a dishwasher or by washing with a bottlebrush,
soap, and water.
WORKPLACE VENTILATION - Smiling Faces Academy limits air recirculation and makes sure ventilation systems are being properly used and maintained. Steps have been taken to minimize air flow blowing across people. Staff will open windows when and where possible, remove or repositioning fans and encourage outdoor time.
General building conditions: Smiling Faces Academy staff have assured the status and capacities of the utility systems within the building (e.g., ventilation, water supply, sewer, gas), as well as potential issues associated with vermin, molds, and mildew, prior to putting the building into an operational status.
1. Smiling Faces Academy follow established protocols for starting mechanical, electrical, plumbing, life-safety, and other systems after non-use according to the Authorities Having Jurisdiction.
2. Smiling Faces Academy assure the building is assessed for indications of pest and vermin infestation, and consult a pest control professional as appropriate.
• Staff will stagger playground use rather than allowing big groups to play together.
• Staff and children will wash hands before and after touching play structures. Staff will disinfect high touched areas of the play structure between groups.
COMMUNICATIONS AND TRAINING
• This plan is available to the Commissioner and offered to families. Staff communicates to families, using plain language, the expectations for parents and children in implementing this plan (e.g. outdoor pick-up/drop-off protocols).
• This plan is posted in a prominent place and readily accessible to all employees, adult caregivers, substitutes, and volunteers who need to review it. The Center Director provides training to ensure everyone is following our plan. These individuals will be updated on any changes to the plan.
• Staff with concerns about their employer’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan or questions about their rights should contact MN OSHA Compliance at [email protected], 651-284-5050 or 877-470-6742.
VULNERABLE/HIGH RISK GROUPS
Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. To protect those at higher risk, it’s important that everyone practices healthy hygiene behaviors.
Staff members age 65 or older, or with serious underlying health conditions, are encouraged to talk to their healthcare provider to assess their risk and to determine if they should stay home.
Information about COVID-19 in children is somewhat limited, but the information that is available suggests that many children have mild symptoms. However, a small percentage of children have been reported to have more severe illness. If you have children with underlying health conditions, there may be a higher risk. Smiling Faces Academy Follow children’s care plans for underlying health conditions such as an asthma action plan. If your child has special needs or is living with disabilities, please talk to their teacher about how their children can continue to receive the support they need.
PLANS FOR SICK CHILDREN STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
1. Daily health checks are conducted. This includes screening for children, staff, volunteers, and household members.
2. Smiling Faces Academy, follows exclusion guidance and ensure children, staff, and volunteers stay home when sick.
3. Smiling Faces Academy used CDC guidance to develop a plan for what you will do if someone becomes sick with COVID-like symptoms.
4. Sick adults will be asked to vacate immediately, sick children will be isolated until they are picked up by an authorized adult.
5. If a sick child has been isolated in the facility, a designated staff person will clean and disinfect surfaces in isolation room or area after the sick child has gone home.
6. If COVID-19 is confirmed in a child or staff member:
a. Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
b. Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the areas.
c. Wait up to 24 hours or as long as possible before you clean or disinfect to allow respiratory droplets to settle before cleaning and disinfecting.
d. Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, and common areas.
e. If more than 7 days have passed since the person who is sick visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary.
i. Continue routine cleaning and disinfection.
Smiling Faces Academy will notify families if a staff person, volunteer or child in our program has tested positive for COVID. This communication may be in-person, by phone, test or email. Smiling Faces Academy would also report the positive case to MDH using the email: [email protected]
SUPPORTING PEOPLE WITH COVID-19 SYMPTOMS - This tool applies to children, students, or staff members who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Symptoms consistent with COVID-19 fall into two groups:
• More common symptoms are one or more of these: fever of 100.4°For higher, new onset and/or worsening cough, difficulty breathing, and new loss of taste or smell.
• Less common symptoms are two or more of these: sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, excessive fatigue, new onset of severe headache, and new onset of nasal congestion or runny nose.
After identifying the COVID-19 symptoms, select one of two possible paths.
1. The first path is for when the person is experiencing only one symptom from the list of less common symptoms.
2. Next, we will evaluate that symptom and determine if the person is well enough to stay in the school or program.
3. If yes, attend or remain in school or program.
4. If no, they should stay home or be sent home and consider an evaluation from a health care provider or COVID-19 testing.
5. If evaluated and/or tested, we will follow second path numbers 3 – 7.
6. If the person is sent home, they can return to the school or program 24 hours after the symptom has improved.
7. The person’s siblings or household contacts do not need to stay home or quarantine. 1 of 4
1. The second path is for when the person is experiencing one more common symptom or at least two less common symptoms.
2. If yes, the person stays home or is sent home, and their siblings or household contacts stay home or are sent home.
3. The person with symptoms is either seen by a health care provider for an evaluation and COVID-19 test.
4. If the person does not seek a medical evaluation, they must stay at home in isolation for at least 10 days from the time their symptoms started until symptoms are improved and no fever for 24 hours without fever reducing medications. Siblings and household contacts must stay home and quarantine from all activities for at least 14 days starting with the day they were last in contact with the person who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
5. If the person receives an alternate diagnosis to explain the symptoms, they can then return to the program 24 hours after symptoms have improved or as directed by a health care provider. Siblings and household members do not need to stay home or quarantine any longer once the alternate diagnosis is known.
6. If the person tests negative for COVID-19, they can return to school or the program 24 hours after symptoms have improved. Siblings and household members do not need to stay home once the negative result is known.
7. If the person tests positive for COVID-19, they must stay at home in isolation for at least 10 days from the time the symptoms started until symptoms have improved and no fever for 24 hours without fever reducing medications. Siblings and household contacts must stay home and quarantine from all activities for at least 14 days starting with the day they were last in contact with the person who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
CLOSE CONTACT PATH
1. The document also provides guidance for people who are a close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. A close contact is a person who was within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes of someone who is infected. This includes anyone who lives in the same household.
2. If a person is in close contact, the person must quarantine and stay home from all activities for at least 14 days since the last day of contact with the positive case. Even if the close contact receives a negative test result, they need to complete 14 days of quarantine before returning to the program. Close contacts should seek COVID-19 testing 5-7 days after last contact with the positive case. The siblings and household members of the close contact do not need to stay home or quarantine.
3. If a person who is a close contact develops symptoms and/or tests positive for COVID-19, the person must stay home in isolation for at least 10 days from the time their symptoms started until symptoms are improved and no fever for 24 hours without fever reducing medications. Siblings and household contacts also must stay home and quarantine from all activities for at least 14 days.
ADDITIONAL DETAILS ABOUT THIS TOOL
This decision tree supports these guidance documents:
• 2020-2021 Planning Guide for Schools (www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/k12planguide.pdf).
• COVID-19 Prevention Guidance for Youth and Student Programs (www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/socialdistance.pdf).
• COVID-19 Prevention Guidance for Overnight Camps (www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/overnightcamp.pdf).
SYMPTOMS - The symptoms listed are those most often identified among people who test positive for COVID-19. More common symptoms are seen more frequently among people who are confirmed to have COVID19 and may be the only symptoms a person develops. Less common symptoms have been identified and associated with people who are confirmed to have COVID-19, but are less specific to COVID-19. Less common symptoms may appear along or with another less common symptom.
A fever of 100.4°F or higher is the threshold that needs to be met for a person to stay home or be sent home for COVID-19. A fever lower than 100.4°F, or a low-grade fever, may still require the child, student, or staff member to stay home or be sent home. Our program will follow pre-COVID-19 protocols for return for low-grade fevers.
• New onset means that the symptom is not something that is experienced on a regular basis or is associated with a pre-existing condition. Pre-existing conditions are a sickness or physical disorder for which someone was treated, received medical advice, or had taken medication within 12 months before the onset of illness.
• MDH will continue to evaluate data related to COVID-19 symptoms that will reflect updates to our policies.
EVALUATION BY A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER - Evaluation by a health care provider is a recommendation, not a requirement. Medical evaluation and/or testing for COVID-19 may be considered for ANY of the symptoms listed, depending on suspicion of illness from a health care provider and availability of testing. When there are high levels of community transmission or multiple unlinked cases in the school or child care center, testing is strongly encouraged. Evaluation may include in-person, phone triage or telehealth, emergency department, clinic, and/or urgent care. An evaluation can help to identify the need for COVID-19 testing or if there is another reason/diagnosis to explain new symptoms. Transmission may be defined as greater than 10 cases per 10,000..
Alternative diagnosis means an established medical diagnosis obtained through evaluation by a health care provider and/or diagnostic test (e.g., strep, influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)). Smiling Faces Academy will require written documentation (e.g., after-visit summary, note) for a child or staff member to return to our program.
• Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a viral test that checks a sample from a person’s respiratory system by swabbing inside the nose (nasopharyngeal) or throat (oropharyngeal) to determine if a person currently has an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Results can take several days.
• Antigen tests are immunoassays that detect the presence of a specific viral antigen, which implies current viral infection. Antigen tests are currently authorized to be performed on nasopharyngeal or nasal swab specimens placed directly into the assay’s extraction buffer or reagent and results can be retuned in 15 minutes.
NOTE: Antibody tests check blood samples by looking for antibodies, which can show if a person had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. They are not used to diagnose COVID-19.