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Local day care closed after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Center plans to reopen on July 20

A Fort Dodge day care has temporarily closed its doors after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Community Early Childhood Center, 1315 S. 24th St., was informed of a staff member testing positive on Friday, according to a letter sent out to parents on Saturday.

“It is in the best interest of our children, families and staff that we close for the next 10 days,” the letter said.

Parents will not be expected to pay tuition during those 10 days and staff will be paid for what hours they were scheduled for.

“During this time, we will be having the center cleaned professionally for everyone’s safety and we will be re-evaluating the situation for reopening,” the letter said.

For now, Community Early Childhood Center plans to reopen on July 20.

“Of course the need for childcare for these parents, essential workers or not, is so important,” said Renee Rude, a director of the Community Early Childhood Center. “And for us to have to make that decision was really tough.”

Rude said the center has been working with Webster County Public Health and the Iowa Department of Human Services since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the spring.

All children and staff who were in the classrooms with the positive staff member on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, will need to quarantine for 14 days, according to the letter. Parents of those individuals have been notified, Rude said.

The children and staff who were not exposed to the positive staff member will be allowed to return to the day care when it reopens.

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