Alamance County Health Department has identified a COVID-19 cluster at Hawfields Presbyterian Child Care and Development Center in Mebane, Like My Own Daycare #2 in Burlington, and Kidz N Progress Childcare across three locations- one in Mebane and two in Haw River. The cases will be included on the biweekly Child Care and School Settings report for NC DHHS. NC DHHS defines a cluster as minimum of five laboratory-confirmed cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiologic linkage between cases.
Currently, nine (9) cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed among six (6) staff and three (3) children at Hawfields Childcare.
“The safety of the children and staff at Hawfields Child Care remains our top priority,” said Director Christy McCawley. “With any positive case, we immediately close the classroom and notify parents, the Alamance County Health Department and the NC DHHS Division of Child Development and Early Education. All classrooms are cleaned and disinfected daily, but an extra cleaning is always performed in the event of a positive case while the classroom is closed.”
Christy further stated, “Hawfields has 43 employees taking care of 141 children and supporting 25 students for remote learning (a total of 209 children and staff). We have had a total of 9 positive cases in our building. Five cases were isolated with no spread in our center. Our recent cases do demonstrate a potential link of COVID being contracted within our center.”
“We are proud that we have remained open to serve families during such a challenging time and look forward to our staff receiving the COVID vaccine when available.”
At Like My Own Daycare #2, six (6) cases have been confirmed among three (3) staff and three (3) children.
Rasanda Mitchell, Owner of Like My Own #2, stated, “On behalf of Like My Own #2 it really brought deep sadness and concerns for my staff and families. It is a pandemic, and we are doing all we can to make the place a safe place for all. We have been cooperating with the Alamance County Health Department and following all the childcare guidance from Department of Health and Human Services and the Governor. I was advised to close one classroom but for the safety of my children and staff, I closed the entire center and informed my childcare consultant and the health department. We will continue to work with the Alamance County Health Department during the closing to make sure the timing is appropriate to open. I am terribly sorry for any inconvenience it has caused any families enrolled. I wish I had a magic wand to make it disappear, but I cannot. I’m going to continue to pray for all families and childcare centers affected by COVID-19.”
Across the three sites of Kidz N Progress, five (5) cases have been confirmed among three (3) staff and two (2) students. A statement from the director was not provided at the time of release.
“Alamance County Health Department was able to identify cases and respond quickly to each childcare center to hopefully mitigate future spread,” stated Health Director Tony Lo Giudice. “We will continue to offer guidance to ensure the safety of staff, children, and the community.”
Alamance County Health Department identified its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 20, 2020. Since then, a total of 15,592 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the community. Of those confirmed cases, 14,729 have been released from isolation and 641 remain active and in isolation. Included in those active cases, 21 individuals are receiving care at a hospital. Sadly, there have been 222 COVID-19 related deaths. COVID-related deaths include only patients who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, and who died without fully recovering from the disease.
Although the percent of positive COVID-19 cases has decreased in the county, we still need to be mindful that COVID-19 is still prevalent. It is important to take steps to reduce your risks of contracting COVID-19, specifically wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distance and avoiding crowds, and washing your hands and cleaning commonly used surfaces regularly. Also, when your time comes to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please do so. These steps are imperative to control the spread of COVID-19. The health of you, your loved ones, and the community are what matters.