Coronavirus Outbreak

New Haven Mayor Issues Order to Close Childcare Centers Caring for More Than 12 Children

Mayor Justin Elicker at news conference on coronavirus
NBC Connecticut

The mayor of New Haven has issued an emergency order to close any childcare centers providing childcare services for more than 12 children amid concerns about coronavirus.

During a news conference on Monday afternoon, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said the city was considering closing playgrounds because people have been congregating at them, but they decided not to do that because it would push people inside.

Instead of closing the playgrounds, he urged people who do go to playgrounds to evaluate the situation.

Because large events can fuel the spread of the disease, the CDC said gatherings of 50 people or more should be canceled or postponed throughout the country for the next eight weeks.

He is urging people not to gather in groups, to wash their hands and not to touch their face,

"You are responsible for other people living or dying," Elicker said.

A message from Elicker said the order about the daycare follows the state of emergency issued yesterday for the City of New Haven.

In the interest of providing childcare services for healthcare workers during the public health emergency, the emergency order also states any childcare center providing childcare services for more than 12 children may provide childcare services for any child whose parent or legal guardian is employed as a healthcare provider.

The order says,

“NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS FURTHER HEREBY PROCLAIMED AND ORDERED that, in the interest of providing critically needed child care services for health care providers during this public health emergency, any child care center providing child care services for more than 12 children, including child care centers operated by acute care hospitals licensed pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes 19a-368v, or affiliates of such licensed hospitals,  may continue to provide child care services for any child whose parent or legal guardian is employed as a health care provider, defined as “any individual who delivers care and services to the sick and ailing, as doctors, nurses, aides, helpers, transporters, technicians, pharmacists, and environmental services.”

“In a continued effort to protect the health of our residents, I am ordering that all daycare and childcare centers close as a result of the growing public health emergency surrounding COVID-19. We are still allowing childcare facilities to provide care for healthcare workers,” Elicker said in a statement. “We have already closed public schools to prevent people from gathering. While children appear to be less likely to get seriously sick, they still can spread the virus, and therefore we believe it is critical from a public health perspective to close daycare and childcare centers as well. I realize that this will add another burden to families and care providers. We have weighed this risk and strongly believe this is the right public health decision. We are in a State of Emergency in New Haven,” reminded Mayor Elicker, “and it is critical that we limit interaction with others, promote social distancing, and keep our children from congregating in large crowds.”

You can view the document online here.

Coronavirus Symptoms

The key symptoms of the coronavirus, according to the CDC are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms can appear in infected persons two to 14 days after exposure.

Coronavirus Prevention Steps

Steps for prevention from the CDC include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
    • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
    • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, such as to the grocery store
    • Coverings should not be placed on children under 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
    • The face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected
    • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a health care worker
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Steps to Self-Monitor for Coronavirus

Steps to self-monitor from the CDC include:

  1. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  2. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  3. Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  4. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

If you do get sick with a fever, cough or have trouble breathing, call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room and communicate with your doctor about your recent travel.

  • If you develop symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.

The CDC has a special website set up with details about the coronavirus, including how it spreads and treatment.

Anyone with questions relating to coronavirus can call 2-1-1 or text "CTCOVID" to 898211. The 2-1-1 hotline is available 24 hours a day.

You can also visit the state's coronavirus information website here. Residents are encouraged to check the website for answers to questions before calling the hotline.

Learn More About Coronavirus - COVID-19

Learn more here from the state about Coronavirus.

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