Speech

Mr. Speaker…

In my last Statement to this House on July 1, I indicated that discussions were being held with stakeholders in the entertainment sector, to look at the safest ways to commence the resumption of activities. Events, and the use of venues such as sports bars and other places of amusement have been prohibited by Order since March. The Government also had consultations and considered protocols for regulating Day Care Centres and Summer Day Camps.

Accordingly Mr. Speaker, I wish to announce that effective Tuesday July 21, Day Care Centres, Summer Day Camps, and a range of activities that fall within the entertainment sector will be allowed to resume under strict conditions for an initial period that will end on July 31.

The protocols have been approved by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and will be published for the benefit of stakeholders and the general public. Persons who manage and work in these sectors will also have the opportunity to put their operations in order, by ensuring that the protocols are in place during the seven days between today and July 21.

PROTOCOLS FOR DAY CARE CENTRES

Mr. Speaker, before I announce the main protocols that will govern Day Care Centres, I want to make it clear that parents and guardians are not required to send their youngsters to these facilities. It is a matter of choice.

There must be full compliance with COVID 19 testing protocols. Where possible, staff should be tested before being approved to work.

There must be temperature checks of all persons on each entry to the Day Care Centre.

There must be adequate staff supervision of children, using the following ratio: Children 0–12 months: 1 adult to 5 children. Children 13–35 months: 1 adult to 8 children. Children 3–5 years: 1 adult to 10 children.

There must be multiple thermometers available for screening children, and these devices should be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Anyone with a fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius or higher) must be sent home.

Children must be observed for signs of runny nose, cough, fever, or gastro-intestinal symptoms. There must be an isolation area for anyone who exhibits symptoms.

All rooms must be cleaned and sanitized at least twice daily. Restrooms are to be cleaned and disinfected every hour. Frequently touched areas as well as toys must be sanitized frequently. Toys made from cloth must not be used.

Seating and sleeping areas must be rearranged to ensure at least 3 to 6 feet between each child. Large groups must not be allowed in common areas.

PROTOCOLS FOR SUMMER DAY CAMPS

Many of these protocols also apply to Summer Day Camps. As in the case with Day Care Centres Mr. Speaker, the Government is not forcing anyone to send children to Summer Day Camps. These are non-residential Camps, and they are allowed to open between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

The use of touchless trash cans is encouraged, to provide a hands-free way to dispose of tissues and contaminants.

Seating and sleeping areas must be rearranged to ensure at least 3 to 6 feet between each child.

Large groups must not be allowed in common areas. Play equipment must be spaced at least 6 feet apart. Play equipment that cannot be spaced 6 feet apart must be closed.

Exercise and play must only be done outdoors with the necessary supervision, physical distancing and the washing of hands before and after with soap and water.

Bus trips and other excursions must be done in compliance to physical distancing, mask-wearing and sanitization protocols. There must be no standing in the bus, and hand sanitization must be done before entering the vehicle.

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