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Child care center temporarily closed due to COVID-19
covid-19 Barton

The Barton Community College Child Development Center (CDC) is temporarily closed due to the identification of an individual who is a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 being present during their infectious time period. Potential dates of exposure were Tuesday, August 18 through Friday, August 21, according to a news release from Barton County Administrator Phil Hathcock.

Children and adults that were at this facility during these dates should be placed in quarantine for 14 days from the date of their last potential exposure. Barton Community College has collaborated with the health department in the issuance of quarantine orders; however, some individuals have chosen not to provide contact information. Therefore, some potentially exposed individuals may not receive quarantine orders from the health department. Due to recent legislation, the health department is unable to collect the contact information from all exposed individuals, which may put others in the community at risk.

The Barton County Health Department encourages those who were at the above location during the identified days and times to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days. Symptoms include fever, cough, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, fatigue, diarrhea, and/or shortness of breath/difficulty breathing. If symptoms develop, please stay home, and contact your health care provider for guidance on testing. In an emergency, please call 911 and notify first responders that you were potentially exposed to COVID-19 and, if possible, wear a cloth face mask before they arrive.

According to a statement from the college, a response plan was created quickly but carefully as a joint effort between CDC staff, BCC administrators and the various state and county agencies involved with managing the spread of COVID-19, including the Barton County Health Department.

The health department may issue orders to the CDC staff and children who attend the CDC to quarantine in their homes until, tentatively, September 5. The orders will include educational materials that may address additional questions the recipients may have, and will include an on-call number for BCHD personnel.

The Child Development Center took many measures to prevent exposures, including frequent hand washing of all children, including upon arrival and departure, frequent disinfecting and more. 

Barton and its CDC will be taking some extra precautions beyond the recommendation from the BCHD during the quarantine and closure to prepare for reopening, including enhanced cleaning and exploring additional measures to further reduce the potential for future exposures. While it was not recommended by the BCHD, regular and student employees will be tested before return to the CDC.

This updates a version of this story posted earlier Saturday afternoon, Aug. 22, 2020