23 January 2020

Dear Operators / Principals

Further Update to Preschools on Measures in Response to Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia in Wuhan

This is a further update to the earlier advisory sent to preschools on 22 January 2020 on precautionary measures to take in response to the Wuhan virus.

What is a Novel Coronavirus?
2   Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously known in humans, has been identified in China. The novel coronavirus (named 2019-NCoV) has caused cases of severe pneumonia in China and cases have been exported to other cities and countries.

3   Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Avoid non-essential travel to Wuhan

4   The Ministry of Health (MOH) has advised travellers to avoid non-essential travel to Wuhan. As infants and young children are most vulnerable to infectious diseases, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) strongly advise preschool staff to avoid travelling to Wuhan during this period, unless necessary.

5   Preschool operators and principals should monitor their staff travel movements. MOH does not require self-isolation of employees who are coming back from China at this juncture. Preschool staff travelling to China should monitor their health closely for 2 weeks upon return to Singapore. They are advised to wear surgical masks while performing their duties or be redeployed into roles without contact with infants and children, if possible. They should seek medical attention immediately if they feel unwell, and also inform their doctor of their travel history.

6   Preschool staff and children returning from China, who are well and do not display any symptoms of illness, should be allowed to return to school.

Other Measures to be Taken in Preschools

7   Preschools are reminded to be vigilant in conducting health checks and monitor the health of children, staff.

Temperature Screening
• Continue with temperature screening for all children, staff and visitors
• Visitors’ records must be properly maintained.
• Parents and visitors, who have a fever or display respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose) should not be allowed to enter the preschool’s premises.

8   Please remind all staff and children to:
a. Observe high levels of personal hygiene
• Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, and to throw away the tissue immediately into a bin.
• Wash hands frequently with soap, especially before eating or handling food, after toilet visits, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing.
• Not to share food/drinks, eating utensils, toothbrushes or towels with others.

b. Ensure good environmental hygiene • Keep the centre environment 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.

c. Monitor health and seek medical attention promptly
• Detect and isolate persons who are ill early and advise them to seek medical treatment.
• Advise children and staff who are unwell to stay at home to rest and return to school only when they have fully recovered.
• Remind parents not to send their child to school if the child is sick, as infectious diseases can be spread from person to person or through surfaces contaminated by sick individuals.
• Report to ECDA and MOH immediately if there are suspect cases in your preschool with fever and pneumonia and travel history to China within 14 days before onset of symptoms.

9   We are monitoring the situation closely and will provide further updates. We encourage you to keep the preschools clean and safe for children and staff, and to also share the information with your staff.

10 If you require any assistance or clarifications, please contact your ECDA Licensing Officer. 

Thank you.

Early Childhood Development Agency​

Click here​ for updates on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019).​​​​​

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