Virginia daycare operations ordered to follow crowd control order

Updated: Mar. 18, 2020 at 2:21 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Ralph Northam is now ordering all daycare operations in the state to comply with the 10-person or fewer order in response to the growing number of coronavirus cases.

“We want to make sure that our children are safe while also ensuring that essential personnel like medical professionals are able to go to work to be able to know their children are being cared for,” said Northam.

Wednesday, Northam and others held a briefing on the state's response to COVID-19.

“We know this will be a hardship for many childcare providers to change their model but we know they are up to the task,” said Duke Storen, Virginia Dept. of Social Services Commissioner.

The order says no more than 10 people in a room and that includes staff, children should be fed in their classroom, recess should be staggered and children need to stay six feet apart.

“If you are not an essential personnel that you stay home with your children like we are doing with schools to make available for capacity for childcare centers to provide the necessary care to essential personnel,” said Storen.

NBC12 spoke with several daycare operators in the Richmond-area. Those we talked to say they are up-to-speed on the governor’s order and are making changes.

The commissioner of the state's department of social services also said they are assessing the need for more childcare for those WHO work at medical centers and hospitals.

“We will get through this but we must work together and take care of each other,” Northam said.

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