Child care centers brace for impacts from Omicron variant

Child care centers brace for impacts from Omicron variant
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 8:37 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Some child care centers across the state are working to keep the Omicron variant from creeping into their building and wreaking havoc on children and staff members.

“I am ready for it to be over with, but the reality is we are at the mercy of COVID,” said Marquita Catchings.

The virus has been a headache and a hassle for The Center for Family Life, Developmental Learning Center in Jackson.

The childcare center, which is located on the grounds of Cade Chapel in Jackson, shut down for months at the start of the pandemic. When the center reopened, the threat of the virus cut the enrollment numbers in half.

New Horizon Child Care Center also took a hit because of the pandemic.

“A lot of things we are facing, like a lot of childcare centers, is staffing. We have a good staff, but people have been sick with COVID at times,” said Ronnie Crudup, Jr.

Both centers have increased their efforts to combat COVID and keep little ones and staff members safe.

“We are kind of preparing ourselves that this may be the new normal. We made updates to our facility, when it comes to sanitizing, when it comes to handwashing and all those things, we updated our restrooms, so we try to make things as touchless as possible,” added Crudup.

They are also limiting the number of children in each classroom, promoting hand hygiene, masking, and providing screening for COVID-19 symptoms. 

Parents are also not allowed inside the center when dropping off or picking up their children to reduce the risk COVID-19 transmission inside the building.

“Before the virus, parents came to the door, walked through the center and were able to visit the children and talk to us anytime they pleased. Now you have to call us, we have to bring your child to the car, you have to come to the door. No parent is allowed in the building,” said Catchings.

These childcare centers say they are needed especially for working parents. That’s why they are doing all they can to continue to fight against this contagious virus.

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