Covenant childcare closes for two weeks due to two COVID-19 cases

Covenant Preschool and Childcare in Dothan will be closed for two weeks after an infant in the daycare program and a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

A letter posted Sunday on the Covenant United Methodist Church’s website outlined the decision to close the facility.

“The choice to close our daycare for two weeks is not one we make lightly, but it is necessary to ensure the safety of everyone,” the letter stated.

The infant tested positive for the coronavirus illness last Thursday. The child was not showing symptoms and had not been at the daycare since Wednesday, June 24. Parents of children enrolled in the program were notified along with staff that had been in contact with the child.

The daycare program was closed Friday and a professional cleaning company was hired to disinfect the building. The church also canceled childcare for Sunday morning services as there is an overlap in rooms used for both programs, according to the letters.

Daycare staff members were also tested, although none of them were showing symptoms. One of the tests returned positive on Sunday afternoon, leading to the decision to close the daycare facility for two weeks. There will be no childcare charges for the next two weeks.

Covenant had been following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as those from state and local officials, including increased hygiene and sanitation measures. Staff and children were screened upon arrival for symptoms and had temperatures taken. Parents do not enter the facility, and staff members wear protective face coverings.

As states have reopened, cases of COVID-19 have jumped, prompting concerns of the pandemic worsening. Alabama cities like Montgomery and Birmingham have adopted orders requiring face masks in public places and other cities in the state are considering similar orders.

Alabama reported 36,682 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 905 confirmed deaths as of Monday, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard, which is updated daily. Overall, there have been 392,800 people tested across the state since the coronavirus first appeared in Alabama in March. In the last 14 days, there have been 102,783 people tested with 10,425 new cases confirmed.

The Alabama Department of Public Health reports cases based on county of residence. Numbers do not include patients from out of state.

In the Wiregrass, Houston County has had 420 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported; Barbour County, 319; Coffee County, 346; Covington County, 302; Dale County, 235; Geneva County, 59; Henry County, 128; and Pike County, 395.

Wiregrass counties reported 514 new COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days as of Monday.

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