8 February 2020
Dear Parents / Guardians
Keeping Our Children in Preschools Safe Against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
The Ministry of Health has stepped up their risk assessment from DORSCON Yellow to DORSCON Orange with effect from 7 February 2020. To protect the health and wellbeing of children and staff in preschools, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has progressively implemented a series of precautionary measures in preschools over the past month.
2. With the change in DORSCON level, from 8 February 2020, preschools will adopt the following additional measures:
• Limit visitors entering the premises only to those needed to support the running of preschools (e.g. contractors) and agencies who need to perform essential functions. If it is necessary to have a visitor, preschools are to adhere to the required temperature checks and travel declarations. Parents / guardians can continue to pick up and drop off their children at the preschool.
☑ Staff deployment
• To minimise the risk of transmission between preschools, preschool operators should limit the deployment of staff across centres, where possible
3. These latest measures build on the other precautionary measures that were rolled out for preschools:
☑ Suspend large group activities, and excursions
• Large group and communal activities such as assemblies and mass celebrations
• Excursions and field trips to minimise exposure of children to large crowd
☑ Leave of Absence for all preschool staff and children returning from Mainland China
• Implement 14-day Leave of Absence for all preschool staff and children returning from Mainland China:
i. on and from 28 January 2020,
ii. as well as those who returned within the last 14 days prior to 28 January, i.e. 14 January to 27 January 2020.
☑ Leave of Absence for all children with any household member who is on Home Quarantine Order
• Implement 14-day Leave of Absence for children with any household member who is on Home Quarantine Order.
• This is in view that young children may be less able to take the necessary precautions, while staying with household members under home quarantine.
• Parents should inform your child’s preschool immediately if your child is living in a household with person(s) on Home Quarantine Order.
☑ Temperature screening and health checks
• Continue with health checks and temperature screening for all children, staff and visitors. With effect from 5 February 2020, preschools are to increase the frequency of temperature taking for children and staff in the preschool.
• Monitor the health of children and staff and advise them to see a doctor immediately if they are sick.
• If the child is unwell, advise parents/guardians to let the child stay at home to rest and return to preschool only when the child has fully recovered.
• Advise parents and visitors with a fever and/or respiratory/flu-like symptoms (e.g. running nose, cough) to not enter the preschool, to prevent the risk of infection to infants and children.
☑ Travel declarations for all preschool staff, children and visitors
• Advise staff and families to defer all travel to Hubei Province and all non-essential travel to Mainland China.
• Obtain travel declarations and monitor travel plans for preschool staff and children on an ongoing basis. This is so that the preschool can provide the necessary assistance to facilitate leave of absence for relevant children and staff.
• From 5 February 2020, obtain travel declarations for visitors into the preschool. Ensure that visitors have not travelled to Mainland China in the past 14 days.
☑ Ensure good environmental hygiene
• Keep the preschool clean.
• Clean frequently touched surfaces, toys and commonly shared items at least daily and when contaminated by nasal or oral secretions.
• Ensure supplies such as hand soap, tissues and paper towels are available for children and staff’s use.
4. We encourage all children, parents/guardians and preschool staff to practise good personal hygiene. This includes washing their hands frequently with soap, wearing a surgical mask if they have a cough or runny nose to prevent infecting others, and seeing a doctor if they are sick and returning to school only when fully recovered.
5. ECDA and the relevant agencies are monitoring the novel coronavirus situation closely. Let’s continue to work together to keep ourselves and the preschools safe and healthy.
Early Childhood Development Agency
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