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April 01, 2020
COVID-19, aka Coronavirus, is a fairly common type of virus that can cause coughs, colds and fevers. Like the flu, there are different strains of coronavirus that can make people sick. Most of the strains are familiar, meaning people have been exposed to them in the past and many people are immune to them. Sometimes, a new strain of the virus emerges that people have not been exposed to before. That’s what is happening with coronavirus this year. Because the strain of the virus is novel, or new, more people are getting sick and we don’t have a good vaccine to prevent it.
Doctors and scientists are still learning about the new virus and trying to understand how it spreads from person to person. As they learn more, we will get a better understanding of how to protect ourselves. For now, the CDC recommends protecting yourself and the children in your care by taking some basic precautions:
For child care providers, that means staying vigilant about hand hygiene and keeping a close eye on children and staff who are showing signs of illness. Daily health checks are a great way for providers to take a few moments to notice how each child is looking, feeling and acting when they first arrive. That will make it easier to notice if the child’s behavior or symptom’s change throughout the day.
In the long run, it is important for child care programs to have a plan for dealing with disease outbreaks. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a series of resources that can help you protect your health and your business in situations where lots of children or adults are getting sick.
Do you have extra supplies such as diapers, gloves, bleach, toilet paper, baby wipes, hand sanitizer? Here's an easy way to help! If your child care program is open, please check to see if it needs any supplies to ensure it can meet health and safety requirements.
The CDC has the most up-to-date information about what is going on with coronavirus in the U.S. For information about what is going on in your community, reach out to your state or local public health agency or contact a child care health consultant.
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