UNION, WV (WVNS) — Last week, Governor Jim Justice announced plans to test all staff members at West Virginia day cares so those facilities can reopen as quickly and safely as possible. Monroe County Day Care center reopened on Monday, May 4, 2020, but with new safety procedures.
Staff set up outside Monroe County Day Care center at 6:30 Monday morning, to screen children and go over new procedures with parents. Director, Michelle McFall, said the center was closed for a month due to COVID-19.
“We made the decision to reopen, our essential workers need us because we are one of two child care centers in the county and we are the only one open,” said McFall.
Jennifer McMeekin is both a parent to a child at the daycare, and a board member. She said without childcare, many parents in the community were in tough position for the last month.
“I saw the relief this morning when we were here doing the screens,” said McMeekin.
McMeekin said she was unsure about reopening, but knew her four-year-old was desperate for socialization.
“I’ve watched her cry every night and pray and everything saying ‘when is it going to be over’. So as a parent, I understand the safety I was on the fence about opening back up, but as a mother, we can do this safely, we can work this out and make it work for them,” McMeekin said.
Before they reopened, all staff members tested negative for COVID-19 and disinfected the facility. They added extra steps to the daily routine to keep everyone safe, spraying shoes, washing hands, and in-house laundry. No diapers bags, back packs, toys, or blankets are allowed in the center.
They also explained the importance of social distancing to the kids. The safety procedures are serious, but McFall said it did not take away from the excitement of being reunited with their friends.
“They immediately hugged each other saying, ‘I missed you, I love you.’ They really missed each other a lot,” said McFall.
Sunday night, staff asked parents to bring an unopened pack of diapers or pull-ups for their child.
Parents are not allowed inside the facility.