A child at Vibrant Kids Academy has tested positive for COVID-19 after a worker at the same facility tested positive last weekend, according to a prepared statement from the child care facility issued Thursday night.
The worker was told to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to work, the statement said. Other children and staff with potential exposure to the virus were notified and told to either self-isolate for 14 days or to return to the facility upon receiving a negative test result.
Vibrant Kids Academy, 500 Holly Hills Road, is continuing to operate.
The family of the 18-month-old child received an alert from the child care center on Monday, notifying all parents a teacher tested positive for COVID-19, according to a close relative of the child who asked to remain anonymous out of privacy concerns.
Following the infection, the facility told the family it moved all children in that classroom to another and started cleaning the contaminated room, she said.
The family’s concern, the child’s relative said, is there could be more people who are exposed to the virus.
“If on Thursday (the child is) positive and went with other children to another classroom, then they’d all been exposed,” the relative said.
The facility said it has implemented sanitary measures and will continue to do so.
“In addition to our regular nightly cleaning of all our day care facilities, we arranged for the deep cleaning of our rooms over the weekend including the room housing the worker who tested positive,” the statement read. “It is our goal to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all our children and workers. We will continue to follow state and local guidelines for operation and to appropriately monitor the health of our staff and the children in our care while respecting their privacy.”
Child care facilities in Columbus and Lowndes County, which were briefly shut down under local ordinances between late March and early April, are deemed essential business by the state and allowed to remain open during the pandemic.
While facilities in the county can operate as long as they follow state guidelines, day cares in the city must follow stricter rules than state regulations, such as keeping kids who cough and sneeze away from others, requiring staff to wear cloth masks when interacting with children and screening staff for fever.
Columbus Police Chief Fred Shelton said he was not aware of any reports from the child care facility as of Thursday afternoon.
Yue Stella Yu was previously a reporter for The Dispatch.