June 25, 2021

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These are the changes that the care centers must make to reopen on July 1

The Department of the Family published yesterday, Wednesday, the guide for the reopening of child care centers under new regulations that seek to prevent the spread of COVID-19 .

According to the 16-page document, the guide was produced at the suggestion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Health, and the Department of Family of Puerto Rico.

See document here .

"Capa operator or owner of child care center will continue to use the established protocols of health and safety of the Department of the Family, will intensify the measures that they must be taken in the prevention of hygiene and prevention practices to contain the COVID-19 and will take into consideration the suggestions of the CDC and compliance with the basic licensing requirements, "says the guide, which included the apor tion of the Association of Centers for Child Care and Development.

The document acknowledges that the information on the effects of COVID-19 in children "is limited" but stresses that many minors do have mild symptoms of the disease or, sometimes, serious.

"If you have children with underlying conditions, talk to the parents about their level of risk," orders Family to care centers.

According to the executive order of the governor Wanda Vázquez Garced, who authorized the opening of the care centers, these will be able to restart operations from July 1, complying with the security measures . However, this medium reported that a survey carried out among the members of the sector reflected that they favor that the reopening of the centers be in August due to the modifications they will have to carry out.

There are 559 centers in Puerto Rico for the care of licensed minors.

Here we detail the changes and measures that the care centers must take to reopen:

1. In the event that a child shows symptoms of COVID-19, they should not go to the care center.

2. No person with a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celcius (99.5 degrees Fahrenheit) or more may enter the structure.

3. The care center should have a screening area to evaluate its participants daily. Each center shall report the results of the screening daily to the Department of Health and the Department of the Family.

4. Visitors will not be allowed to enter care centers . Only medical emergency, first response or police personnel may access it.

5. The groups of children should not be greater than 10 and their interactions should be "limited and without physical contact" .

6. Each care center must adjust its capacity according to social distancing measures.

7. In the event that there is suspicion that a minor has COVID-19, he will be separated from the group and the care center must contact the Department of Health.

8. If the father of a minor suspects that their child has COVID-19, they must notify the care center immediately.

9. Care centers that confirm a positive case of COVID-19, will have to contact the Department of Health, an entity that will determine if the structure should close for disinfection and prevention purposes.

10. No person over the age of 60 is authorized to deliver or pick up a child in the care center because they are part of a "high risk population" .

11. All employees must wear a mask. In the case of employees who work with infants, they must wear masks, a disposable gown, a shoe cover and a cap.

12. Children under three years of age should not wear masks, but they can wear a face shield or face mask.

13. The washing of hands of employees and children must be carried out upon arrival at the center, during meals, diaper changes and at every intervention with minors. The guide indicates that the use of disinfectant is not a substitute for hand washing.

14. The centers must have a container to put the toys to be cleaned or disinfected, as well as other types of materials that the child uses.

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