Mayor Stoney: Richmond emergency child care operations will be ready in a few weeks

Health guidance provided for families on Halloween and the pandemic

Mayor Stoney: Richmond emergency child care operations will be ready in a few weeks

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond’s Mayor says emergency child care operations will be ready in a few weeks. That’s the best guidance Levar Stoney was able to give during a COVID-19 briefing Wednesday at Richmond City Hall.

“We’ve never done this before,” said Stoney. “We’ve never down this before. there is no playbook for how we handle these sorts of things in the pandemic and we’ve never done this before.”

For several weeks now, Richmond Public School leaders have been figuring out logistics and going back and forth with city officials.

“When the elephants fight its the grass that suffers and this is a case where the elephants came together and worked everything out and the grass is going to thrive as a result,” said Jason Kamras, Richmond City Schools Superintendent.

More than 60% of Richmond Public School parents who responded to a survey said that didn’t know who was going to watch their children, once the school year started. The centers could provide 500 children with supervision inside the school buildings.

“This is a need. This is a priority and the adults have stepped up because we know our families need this,” said Stoney.

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Meanwhile, The Centers for Disease Control and The Virginia Department of Health released guidelines for trick or treating this year.

They break down potential activities into risk levels. Carving pumpkins comes with low risk since you can maintain social distance. However, traditional door-to-door trick or treating is considered high risk.

“Our hope is that people really limit their trick or treating to small groups,” said Dr. Danny Avula, Richmond Health District Director. “If you are high risk in any way it would be a good year to take a year off from trick or treating.”

The city can’t regulate trick-or-treating or cancel Halloween, but there are neighborhoods where roads get shut down to allow for families to gather. Those things require permits, which the city controls.

City officials will be meeting with neighborhood associations to see what they hope to plan and what can actually happen.

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