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COVID-19 Preparedness Plan During Peacetime Emergency

All critical businesses in Minnesota are required to have a COVID-19 preparedness plan that protects staff, children, families and the community we serve. This is designed to help Mes Amis French School create a plan and recognizes the health and safety requirements already required of our program. This is designed to assist Mes Amis in meeting the unique needs of staff and children in care during this peacetime emergency. 

According to Executive Order 20-48, critical businesses, including providers licensed and certified to provide child care services, are required to follow guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. MDH encourages providers to follow the CDC Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open. Updated guidance and helpful tools can be found on mn.gov/childcare. Because there is currently no vaccine for this virus, we will need to operate our program for many months with the possibility that COVID-19 could be confirmed in our program. The MDH/CDC guidance is designed to prevent, and mitigate, or respond to the transmission of COVID-19 in our program setting.

Executive Order 20-74, signed by Gov. Walz on June 5, 2020, requires all critical businesses to develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that outlines how we will implement MDH and CDC guidelines. In order to help us comply, DHS is providing this ?Child Care COVID-19 Preparedness Plan? (?Plan?) as a resource for us to use in creating a plan, if you do not already have one. We should use the checklist guidelines for creating a child care COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. The use of this particular form is optional. You may create a Plan using your own form but your Plan must address, at a minimum, the eleven topics identified below.

We know that Mes Amis French School cares about the health and safety of their children in their care, particularly during this pandemic. That?s why the guidance from MDH and CDC is so important for Mes Amis French School to know about ? it provides specific steps Mes Amis French School can take to continue to keep everyone safe while operating during this unique public health crisis. The guidance from MDH and CDC includes strategies, such as social distancing, limiting group sizes, hygiene and cleaning practices, screening and exclusion criteria.

 Mes Amis French School COVID-19 Preparedness Plan must describe how our program will implement, at a minimum, the following components, in compliance with MDH and CDC guidelines for child care programs: 

  1. frequent handwashing;
  2. cleaning and disinfecting;
  3. arrival and departure;
  4. social distancing throughout the day;
  5. plans for identifying and excluding sick staff, volunteers and children;
  6. source control and cloth face coverings;
  7. workplace ventilation 
  8. playground use
  9. meals and snacks;
  10. field trips and events, and
  11. communication and training about the Plan.

     

1. Frequent Hand Washing 

  1. All children, staff, and volunteers should 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
    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
  2. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (singing the alphabet in French). If hands are not visibly dirty, alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol can be used if soap and water are not readily available.
  3. We supervise children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent ingestion.
  4. After assisting children with handwashing, staff should also wash their hands.
  5. We place posters describing hand washing steps in French near sinks .

 

2. Cleaning and disinfecting

    • Protocols related to cleaning and disinfection of programs should be detailed so that staff know what is expected of them. Follow MDH and CDC guidance for frequent cleaning and disinfecting of your program:
    • Ensure high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, stair rails, counters, tables and chairs, shared toys, program equipment and other items are regularly cleaned and disinfected.
    • Minimize the use of shared supplies (e.g. arts and crafts, office supplies) that cannot be sanitized and consider using designated bins for clean and used items.
    • Establish procedures for cleaning and disinfection after persons suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 have been in the program.

A deep cleaning is done on a daily basis after business hours following the CDC guidelines:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html

  • We make sure that no students/children are present during the deep cleaning.  In addition, classrooms ,hallways, and eating areas are vacuumed daily or as frequently needed.  Other surfaces such as Hallway walls and bathroom walls/stalls are also sprayed with a disinfectant.  
  • We minimize the use of shared supplies (e.g. arts and crafts, office supplies) that cannot be sanitized and considered by having the kids wash/sanitize their hands as often as possible. 
  • We establish procedures for cleaning and disinfection after persons suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 have been in the program following the guidelines cleaning and disinfecting your building or facility if someone is sick:

  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html

 

3. Arrival and Departure 

    • Whenever possible, pick-up and drop-off should occur outside and/or limit the extent to which parents enter the program and interact with each other.
    • Consider use of multiple entrances and exits when these can be used safely by the staff, volunteers and visitors.
    • Before children enter the space, screen them to ensure those with symptoms are not attending.  Screening process for children: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-childcare.html#ScreenChildren  
    • Pick-up and drop-off are occured outside and/or limit the extent to which parents enter the program and interact with each other.

Parents who must enter the building are required to wear masks and conduct social distancing.  

  • During Pick-up and drop-off, Staff/volunteers must wear masks and parents should conduct social distancing when signing in/out their child.  
  • Staff/volunteers and children must wash hands before entering the classrooms: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html.  
  • Temp. Checks will be taken for staff and children on a daily basis preferably in the morning.  The teacher will take temp. of children and director.  Director will take temp. of staff or volunteer.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-childcare.html#ScreenChildren

 

4. Plans for sick children, staff, and volunteers

    • Conduct daily health checks. This includes screening for children, staff, volunteers, and household members for family child care programs to ensure those who exhibit any symptoms of illness are not present.
    • Follow exclusion guidance and ensure children, staff, and volunteers stay home when sick: http://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/exguide.pdf 
    • Use CDC guidance to develop a plan for what you will do if someone becomes sick with COVID-like symptoms: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-childcare.html#General 
    • If a child, staff member, or volunteer is diagnosed with COVID-19 or if you have questions about a child, staff member, or volunteer who is exhibiting symptoms, reach out to MDH at health.schools.covid19@state.mn.us and follow their direction.
    • Using the MDH and CDC resources above, create a communication plan for how and when you will notify parents, staff, and volunteers if a child, staff member, volunteer or household member for family child care programs has been exposed, is exhibiting symptoms, or has tested positive.
      • Contact MDH if you have questions (at the email address above)
      • Ensure the parent or guardian contact information in each child?s record is up-to-date.

Staff/volunteers should remain home when sick which includes:  Cough, fever, vomiting, any other symptoms please refer to link (a hard copy is available in each classroom in the by the allergies clipboard, and in our school and policies binder located in the office):  

  1. Please call director Madame Rose at 612-805-4930 before 5:00 A.M. or as soon as you show symptoms of COVID describes Symptoms of COVID-19 include: new onset cough or shortness of breath by themselves OR at least 2 of the following: fever (100.4ºF or higher), chills, muscle pain, sore throat, loss of sense of smell or taste, and gastrointestinal symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea. If a person has a new symptom (for example, new loss of smell only) with no other diagnosis to explain it, they should stay home and talk to their health care provider about testing for COVID-19, even if it is the only symptom they are experiencing. 
  1. Temp. Checks will be taken for staff and children on a daily basis preferably in the morning.  The teacher will take temp. of children and director.  Director will take temp. of staff or volunteer.   
  1. If a child, a staff member, a volunteer is ill, they will be sent home immediately.  For child will be excluded from other students and staff.  Director will wear a gown and mask, googles, and will accompany the child in room 007 (across from the office).  Director will call parent/emergency contacts that are written on the attendance sheet and will stay with the child until an authorized person picks-up (Please check Pic. I.D. if necessary please refer to p. 7 Health Safety Policy). The room will remain closed/locked to ensure no ones are allowed in.   At the end of the day Room 007 will  be thoroughly disinfected  following the guidelines cleaning and disinfecting your building or facility if someone is sickhttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.htm

 

5. Social distancing throughout the day

    • Limit group sizes as much as possible and create consistent groups of children and providers, staff, or volunteers who stay together throughout the day.
    • Add visual cues or barriers to direct traffic flow and distancing. For example, you may want to tape ?Xs? on the floor to let children know where they should sit to promote social distancing.
    • At nap time, ensure that children?s naptime mats (or cribs) are spaced out as much as possible. Consider placing children head to toe in order to further reduce the potential for viral spread.
  1. Small group of 9 per classroom/teacher
  2. Making sure there?s a consistency of the same group/teacher.
  3. Lunch time only 2-4 students per table and at least 2 chairs apart.  Their own individual placemat will be placed on the table to let them know where to sit.
  4. Nap time spread as much as possible placing children head to toe.

     

6. 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. Within this context, the provider, staff members, and volunteers are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings during the work day as much as possible, recognizing the development needs of the children in their care.
    • Children should not wear cloth face coverings unless they can reliably wear, remove, and handle the cloth face covering throughout the day. Cloth face coverings should NOT be put on infants or children younger than 2 because of the danger of suffocation.
    • Face covering guidance is available here: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/masks.html#child  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html 
  1. Adults should wear masks if they enter the building during school hours.  
  2. Children should not wear cloth face coverings unless they can reliably wear, remove, and handle the cloth face covering throughout the day.
  3. Staff members, and volunteers are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings during the work day as much as possible, recognizing the development needs of the children in their care.  Cloth masks will be worn at pick-up/Drop off time, nap time, serving meals, anytime you have close contact with any child.  If not worn, keep as much social distance as possible.  Masks must be worn at all times of exclusion with sick child.   Note:  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.

     

7. Workplace ventilation 

  • Recognizing this may be difficult in center or school buildings, where possible work to maximize the amount of fresh air being brought in, limit air recirculation and make sure ventilation systems are being properly used and maintained. Take steps to minimize air flow blowing across people. It could mean keeping windows open where possible, removing or repositioning fans, and encouraging outdoor time. 
  1. Windows remain closed during class time and will turn on air conditioning during hot seasons, but whenever possible will keep windows open to allow fresh air.  
  2. Outdoor time is imperative for fresh air and for gross motor activities.

     

8. Playground use

    • Stagger playground use rather than allowing big groups to play together.
    • Wash hands before and after touching play structures. If possible, consider cleaning high touch areas of the play structure between groups.
    • If you choose to bring children in your care to a public playground, be careful to ensure children wash hands after touching play structures and maintain six feet of space from other children as much as possible. https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/playground.pdf 
  1. Small groups of 10 to play outside and spread them out as much as possible with close supervision.
  2. Hand washing before and after outside activities but to a minimal use of hand sanitizer.  
  3. High touched indoor playground equipment will be sanitized at the end of the day or between groups of 10 if necessary.

9. Meals and snacks

    • If meals are typically served family-style, plate each meal and serve it so that multiple children are not using the same serving utensils.
    • To the extent possible, serve meals in individual classrooms. If using a cafeteria, the meal should be served to one small group of children at a time, with cleaning and sanitizing occurring in between groupings. 
  1. Tables will be set prior to serving meals.  Trained staff are the only ones to serve meals wearing gloves to serve children.
  2. Tables, place mats, and chairs will be sanitized thoroughly after each meal is served.
  3. All dishes will be washed and sanitized following Minnesota Department of Health Food Safety: https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/food/docs/fs/cleansanfs.pdf

 

10. Field trips and events

    • Do not plan large group activities, such as field trips and family events. Consider changing field trips and events to a virtual format where appropriate.
    • If you have an in-house field trip, screen the presenter. It would be best if in-house field trips are held outside in small group settings. Remember that social distance needs to be maintained, groups should not be mixed, and whenever possible, cleaning and sanitizing should occur between groups.
  1. During COVID-19 no big events with large groups will take place.
  2. If a special presentation will occur it will be done outside social distancing weather permitted.  Otherwise, it will be rescheduled.  Guests must wear masks.  Group size small as 10.  If outside social distance not more than 15.  

 

11. Communications and training

    • The plan must be available to the Commissioner and offered to families. Be sure to communicate to families, using plain language, the expectations for parents and children in implementing this plan (e.g. outdoor pick-up/drop-off protocols).
  • The plan must be posted in a prominent place and readily accessible to all of your employees, adult caregivers, substitutes, and volunteers who need to review it. Provide training to ensure everyone is following your plan. Keep these individuals 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 osha.compliance@state.mn.us, 651-284-5050 or 877-470-6742.
  1. Parents must respect our outdoor pick-up/drop off policy. They use social distancing.  
  2. The plan is posted in all classrooms, and offices accessible to all employees, adult caregivers, substitutes, and volunteers who need to review it. Provide training to ensure everyone is following your plan. Keep these individuals updated on any changes to the plan.
  3. Staff with concerns about their employer?s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan or questions about their rights should contact MNOSHA Compliance at osha.compliance@state.mn.us, 651-284-5050 or 877-470-6742.
  4.   Staff will be trained and will provide their initials next to each content area and will sign below.  This will also be checked and revised by our health consultant.  

  

Please contact us via email (info@mesamisfrenchschool.org) or
phone (612-618-9494) with any comments or concerns.

 

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