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Planning To Reopen - Phase 2 Child Programs Minimum Requirements, Part 13

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

There are many support systems that must be inplace to successfully reopen the state of Massachusetts. One of the essential support systems that must be ready for Governor Charlie Baker's plan to reopen the Commonwealth is child care and youth programs. This blog highlights the administration's general guidance as well as the minimum planning requirements for recreational camps and programs as outlined in Governor Charlie Baker's administration's guidelines for reopening child and youth programs.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our "Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDA, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

These requirements apply to all child and youth-serving programs, including recreational summer programs, recreational summer camps for children, municipal or recreational youth programs not traditionally licensed as camps, family child care, and center-based child care. As more is learned about the virus guidelines are updated accordingly. Those charged with planning to reopen child and youth programs should check the both the Massachusetts department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the CDC website regularly to make sure that they are following the latest guidance. 

Programs that are unable to must make the following changes to their operations or remain closed and reopen at a later date.

General Guidance for Recreational Camps and Programs

Recreational Camps and Programs must operate under the following guidance as well as all other applicable state, CDC, and/or local municipal guidance. Residential Camps and other overnight stays are not permitted until further notice.

  1. Recreational Camps and Programs may operate with activity restrictions and limited opening for groups ≤12.
  2. Camps may have multiple groups of 12 campers and counselors, provided physical distancing is maintained between and within groups.
  3. Camps may not exceed the camper to counselor ratios in in Camp Regulations 105 CMR 430.101.
  4. Visitors (including parents) and volunteers are not permitted.
  5. Recreational Camps must comply with 105 CMR 430 Minimum Standards for Recreational Camps for Children: State Sanitary Code Chapter IV as well as any additional more restrictive MA state or local requirements or orders in response to COVID-19. Camps are responsible for ensuring their operations are updated to comply with new guidance and orders.

Planning for Recreational Camps and Programs

Program managers and staff of all camps that are allowed to operate during the current phase must ensure the following planning requirements are met.

  1. Recreational Camps and Programs plans must be updated to address how they will meet the new health and safety requirements associated with COVID-19.
  2. For Recreational Camps, plans must be included into Staff Training and Orientation and provided in writing and included in or in addition to the written camp Health Care Policy and other relevant procedures (105 CMR 430.159).
  3. Elements planning for Recreational Camps and Programs must include the following:
    1. A plan to address cleaning, disinfecting, sanitizing and frequency. This must include a daily staff cleaning schedule to ensure that all areas, materials, furniture, and equipment are properly cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected.
    2. A plan for identifying and handling sick, symptomatic, and exposed children and staff that includes but is not limited to daily screening checks, location of screening activities, and staff responsible for screening. All staff conducting screenings should be trained to do so by the Health Care Consultant.
    3. A plan for the isolation and discharge of sick, symptomatic, and exposed children or staff, including procedures for contacting parents immediately, criteria for seeking medical assistance, transportation of a child/staff who has developed symptoms related to COVID-19 mid-day and who rely on camp transportation, mitigation of transmission until the sick individual can safely leave the camp, and immediately notifying the local board of health.
  4. Program managers and staff of recreational camps and programs must ensure that their sick leave policies are flexible and promote the importance of staff not coming to work if they have a frequent cough, sneezing, fever, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or recent loss of taste or smell, or if they or someone they live with has been diagnosed with COVID-19. (3) Recreational Camps and
  5. Program managers must designate a senior camp staff person to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Employees should know who this person is and how to contact them.
  6. Program managers and staff of recreational camps and programs must develop a plan for food service. Snacks and meals should be brought from home, be pre-packaged, or be ready to serve in individual portions to minimize handling and preparation. Where this is not feasible, staff must prepare and serve meals. Meals should not be served family style.
  7. Program managers and staff of recreational camps and programs must develop a plan for safe vendor deliveries, if applicable. Noncontact delivery protocols must be arranged whenever possible.
  8. Program managers and staff of recreational camps and programs must develop a plan for handling camp closings and staff absences.
  9. Program managers and staff of recreational camps and programs must develop a plan outlining the lines of communication between staff and parents, local board of health, the Department of Public Health Community Sanitation Program, and other appropriate audiences.
  10. Program managers and staff of recreational camps and programs must develop a plan for sharing information and guidelines with parents that includes the following:
    1. A system to check with parents daily on the health status of their children when children are dropped off at the facility.
    2. Email addresses and home, work, and mobile phone numbers from parents of children at the camp so that staff can reach them at any time.
    3. A tested communication system with parents, children at the camp, all staff, facility and/or grounds management, and emergency medical services.
    4. Information on COVID-19 including symptoms, transmission, prevention, and when to seek medical attention. Encouraging parents to share the information with their children as appropriate.
    5. Provide parents with information on the camp’s policies for preventing and responding to infection and illness. This must be given to the camper’s parents/guardians and not just provided on a website. Provide information in the primary languages spoken by the parents, if possible
  11. Program managers and staff of recreational camps and programs must develop safe pickup/drop off procedures to maintain physical distancing and prevent the mixing of campers.
    1. Explain new procedures with parents prior to the first drop-off.
    2. Confirm the pickup person is camper’s parent, legal guardian, or other individual designated in writing to have permission to pick up the camper.
  12. A transportation plan for limited camp transportation, if needed, provided that transportation conforms with the minimum requirements for Transportation. To view the administration's minimum requirements for transportation visit our previous blog by clicking, here
  13. Camps must have contingency plans for arranging for transportation for a sick camper, in the case that parents are unable to pick up their children, and for staff, in case they are unable to transport themselves.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCFDAOSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for reopening. Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every business has access to the resources necessary to meet these strict guidelines. For those businesses, we are here to help!

Certified SERVPRO Clean

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Phase 2 Child Programs Minimum Requirements, Part 12

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

Child care and youth-serving programs remain a critical component in Governor Charlie Baker's overall plan to reopen the state of Massachusetts and get the residents of the Commonwealth back to work. This blog highlights the minimum requirements for food preparation as well as caring for children with special needs, vulnerable children, and infants and toddlers as outlined in Governor Charlie Baker's administration's guidelines for reopening child and youth programs.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our "Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDA, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

These requirements apply to all child and youth-serving programs, including recreational summer programs, recreational summer camps for children, municipal or recreational youth programs not traditionally licensed as camps, family child care, and center-based child care. As more is learned about the virus guidelines are updated accordingly. Those charged with planning to reopen child and youth programs should check the both the Massachusetts department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the CDC website regularly to make sure that they are following the latest guidance. 

Programs that are unable to must make the following changes to their operations or remain closed and reopen at a later date.

Ensuring Food Safety

Program managers and their staff must follow these food safety guidelines.

  1. Whenever possible, snacks must be pre-packaged or ready to serve in individual portions to minimize handling and preparation. Meals shall not be served family style.
  2. To minimize potential spread of infection and to promote physical distancing, cafeterias and group dining rooms must be avoided. If there are no alternatives, programs must adequately physical distance during meals and add extra meal shifts.
  3. Multiple children shall not use the same serving or eating utensils. Each child must have an individual cup to use.
  4. Sinks used for food preparation must not be used for any other purposes.
  5. Staff must ensure children wash hands prior to and immediately after eating.
  6. Staff must wash their hands before preparing food and after helping children to eat.
  7. Tables, chairs, high chairs, and high chair trays used for meals need to be cleaned and sanitized before and after use.
  8. All food contact surfaces, equipment, and utensils used for the preparation, packaging, or handling of food products must be washed, rinsed, and sanitized before each use.
  9. Programs must frequently clean non-food contact surfaces, such as doorknobs, tabletops, and chairs using sanitizers approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19 and for food-contact surfaces. 
  10. Following the product label use directions for enveloped viruses, as indicated by the approved emerging viral pathogen claim on the master label.
  11. If the directions for use for viruses/viricidal activity list multiple contact times or dilutions, use the longest contact time or most concentrated solution.
  12. Be sure to follow the label directions for FOOD CONTACT SURFACES when using the chemical near or on utensils and food contact surfaces.

Identify and Understand Children's Healthcare Needs

To ensure that programs are adequately prepared to provide safe and appropriate services to children with special needs and vulnerable children, program managers and staff must take following steps.

  1. Review medical information submitted by parents and determine whether and how many high-risk children are in attendance.
  2. Reach out to parents of high-risk children and encourage them to discuss with their healthcare provider about whether the program is a safe option for the child and if additional protections are necessary.
  3. Discuss with the parent any concerns they have with the new protocols and how you can best help their child understand and adhere as close as possible to the health and safety requirements.

Supporting Children with Special Needs

Children with special needs will require unique supports in programs that may make it less possible to practice physical distancing and will require ample staff support to carry out the necessary hygiene practices. Program managers and staff must ensure that the program is adequately staffed and that staff are prepared and properly trained to accommodate children’s needs.

  1. Staff must be prepared to provide hands-on assistance to children with special needs for activities of daily living such as feeding, toileting, and changing of clothes.
  2. staff who care for children requiring hands-on assistance for routine care activities, including toileting, diapering, feeding, washing, or dressing, and other direct contact activities must wear a long-sleeved, button down, oversized shirt over their clothing and wear long hair up or tied back during all activities requiring direct contact with a child.
  3. Staff must change outer clothing if body fluids from the child get on it. Staff must change the child’s clothing if body fluids get on it. Soiled clothing must be placed in a plastic bag until it can be sent home with the child to be washed.
  4. Staff must be adequately trained and prepared to support children with health care needs with the necessary provisions of health care such as administration of medication needed throughout the day, tube feedings, blood sugar checks, and allergies to certain foods.
  5. For more invasive procedures, staff must protect themselves by wearing a gown or other body covering (e.g., an oversized button-down, long sleeved shirt, etc.), eye protection, and mask.
  6. Children with special needs may be unable to comply with face covering because of intellectual, behavioral, or sensory issues. To minimize the risk of infection for children who are unable to wear a face covering, physical distancing must be maintained whenever possible and staff must wear a face covering at all times, including when working with a child who is unable to wear a face covering.
  7. Programs serving children who are deaf or hard of hearing are encouraged to consider the use of transparent face coverings to facilitate the reading of lips and facial expressions.
  8. Staff-to-child ratios must be higher for programs serving children with special needs, given their need for more individualized attention.
  9. Groupings for children with special needs must be assigned based on the developmental level of the child and the impact of the disability on the child with regard to their ability to adhere to PPE requirements and physical distancing rather than their chronological age.
  10. Smaller groups must be formed where the child requires more hands on assistance and a higher number of staff required to care for the children. Some children with special needs will require 1:1 assistance. Programs must refer to individual treatment plans or IEPs when assessing required ratios.

Caring for Infants and Toddlers

Infants and toddlers will need to be held. Staff must practice stringent hygiene and infection control practices to keep themselves and the young children they care for healthy and safe while in care.

  1. Staff who care for infants and toddlers should wear protective covering, like a long-sleeved, button down, oversized shirt over their clothing and wear long hair up or tied back during all activities requiring that a toddler is held.
  2. Staff must change outer clothing if body fluids from the child get on it.
  3. Staff must change the child’s clothing if body fluids get on it.
  4. Soiled clothing must be placed in a plastic bag until it can be sent home with the child to be washed.
  5. All staff must follow safe and sanitary diaper changing procedures. Procedures must be posted in all diaper changing areas, and must include:
    1. Prepare (includes gathering all supplies, washing hands, and putting on gloves).
    2. Clean the child.
    3. Remove trash (soiled diaper, wipes, and gloves).
    4. Wash hands. Put on clean gloves, if wearing.
    5. Replace clean diaper.
    6. Wash child’s hands.
    7. Clean up diapering station.
    8. Remove and dispose of gloves.
    9. Wash hands.
  6. During washing and feeding activities, staff must protect themselves by wearing a gown or other body covering (e.g., an oversized button-down, long sleeved shirt, etc.) and eye protection where available. Staff with long hair must tie their hair back so it is off the collar and away from the reach of the child.
    1. Child care providers must wash their hands, neck, and anywhere touched by a child’s secretions.
    2. Child care providers must change the child’s clothes if secretions are on the child’s clothes. They must change the button-down shirt, if there are secretions on it, and wash their hands again.
    3. Contaminated clothes must be placed in a plastic bag or washed in a washing machine.
    4. Infants and toddlers and their providers must have multiple changes of clothes on hand.
  7. As infants and toddlers are not able to verbalize when they don’t feel well, staff must be attentive to any changes in a very young child’s behavior. If the child starts to look lethargic, and is not eating as well, staff must notify the parent to determine whether the child’s pediatrician must be contacted. If a toddler is showing signs of respiratory distress and having difficulty breathing, staff must call 911 and notify the parents immediately.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCFDAOSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for reopening. Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every business has access to the resources necessary to meet these strict guidelines. For those businesses, we are here to help!

Certified SERVPRO Clean

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Phase 2 Child Programs Minimum Requirements, Part 11

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

Child care and youth-serving programs remain a critical component in Governor Charlie Baker's overall plan to reopen the state of Massachusetts and get the residents of the Commonwealth back to work. This blog highlights the minimum requirements for general on strategies for reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 as well as transportation as outlined in Governor Baker's administration's guidelines for reopening child and youth programs.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our "Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDA, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

These requirements apply to all child and youth-serving programs, including recreational summer programs, recreational summer camps for children, municipal or recreational youth programs not traditionally licensed as camps, family child care, and center-based child care. As more is learned about the virus guidelines are updated accordingly. Those charged with planning to reopen child and youth programs should check the both the Massachusetts department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the CDC website regularly to make sure that they are following the latest guidance. 

Programs that are unable to must make the following changes to their operations or remain closed and reopen at a later date.

Strategies to Reduce the Risk of Transmission of COVID-19

Program managers and their staff must attempt to maintain at least 6 feet of distance at all times and limit contact between individuals and groups, whenever possible. When 6 feet is not possible, individuals should wear masks or cloth face coverings.

  1. In order to encourage a distance of 6 feet between individuals, programs must have a minimum of 42 square feet per child, with 144 sq. ft. per child being the ideal to maintain proper physical distancing.
  2. (2) Physical distancing must be encouraged for children and staff at all times, including but not limited to:
    1. During transitions (e.g., waiting for bathrooms)
    2. During meal times (e.g., if a cafeteria or group dining room is typically used, serve meals in classrooms instead. Put each child’s meal on a plate, to limit the use of shared serving utensils. If classroom must be used, clean and disinfect tables between meal shifts.)
    3. While traveling to and from the outdoors
    4. During all activities
    5. During sleep, rest, or quiet play time (i.e. space out seating and bedding)
    6. While using transportation (e.g., buses)
  3. Limiting regular immediate contact (such as shaking or holding hands, hugging, or kissing), as well as by mediated contact.
  4. Stagger drop offs/pick-ups
  5. Store children’s belongings in a manner where they do not touch. Individually labeled storage containers, cubbies, or separate; designated areas must be used.
  6. Stagger recess and play outside one group at a time.
  7. Refrain from games and activities that encourage physical contact or proximity of less than 6 feet, like tag or circle time.
  8. Spaces for children must be organized in a way that allows staff to enforce and maintain consistent physical distancing guidelines. Physically rearrange the room to promote individual play, including setting up individual play activity stations like puzzles and art. Space activity areas/centers as far apart as possible.
  9. Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high touch materials to the extent possible (art supplies, equipment, etc. assigned to a single child per use) or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of children at a time and clean and disinfect between uses. If possible, touchless trash cans should be utilized and located throughout the program space.
  10. Limit gatherings, events, and extracurricular activities to those that can maintain physical distancing. Support proper hand hygiene. Do not host events that encourage non-essential adults to visit the program.
  11. Close communal use spaces, such as game rooms or dining halls, if possible. If this is not possible, stagger use and disinfect in between uses or divide into two rooms. Programs may have multiple groups of ten, provided physical distancing is maintained between and within groups. When dividing rooms, create a clear barrier with cones, chairs, tables, etc. to ensure a minimum six feet of distance.
  12. Where possible, arrange for administrative staff to telework from their homes.
  13. Programs must limit travel off the premises for all children and staff. Programs must limit travel outside of the program, including canceling all field trips and inter-agency, or program, groups and activities. Hiking and outdoor activities may be conducted on program grounds.
  14. Activities that require or may require direct staff support or close contact must not be conducted, except where necessary to support participation for children with special needs.
  15. Limit the number of children permitted to use pool facilities at the same time. Determinations must consider how many people can be at the pool facility and still maintain 6 feet distancing.

Transportation

Group transportation should only be provided during the phased reopening when there is no other option to transport children to and from the program. Programs intending to provide transportation services shall follow the guidance below.

  1. Parents must screen their children for symptoms prior to boarding a vehicle.
  2. Physical distancing and group size requirements outlined above must be maintained while in transit. Because close seating on vehicles makes person-to-person transmission of respiratory viruses more likely, programs providing transportation to child care facilities must maximize space between riders (e.g., one rider per seat in every other row) and follow requirements for wearing masks or face coverings. Windows must be kept open.
  3. If not possible nor comfortable to open windows, set ventilation system to high. Do not recirculate conditioned air.

Developing a Transportation Plan

Program managers and staff intending to provide transportation must develop a transportation plan for following health and safety protocols. Additional requirements are as follows.

  1. Plans must include protocols for screening drivers, monitors, and/or children.
  2. Plans must include strategies for transporting children that may have become sick but rely upon transportation provided by programs.
  3. Plans must include strategies for minimizing the time children are in group transportation.
  4. Plan must include schedule for routine cleaning of vehicles, detailed below.
  5. Drivers and monitors must be trained on the transportation plan prior to reopening.
  6. Prior to sending kids by bus, staff must perform at a minimum a visual wellness check and symptom screen.
  7. Staff should assist children with washing or sanitizing hands upon arrival after exiting the bus, van, or vehicle and prior to departure before boarding the bus, van, or vehicle.

Screening Protocols

Designated staff must screen each driver and monitor before entering the vehicle following screening protocols. For a highlight of the minimum guidelines for screening protocols visit our previous blog by clicking, here.

Routine Cleaning of Vehicles

Program managers and staff must ensure the interior of each vehicle is be cleaned and either swept or vacuumed thoroughly after each morning and evening route and disinfected at least once each day.

  1. Clean the area prior to disinfection to remove all surface matter.
  2. Use EPA-Registered Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (the cause of COVID-19) to clean high-touch surfaces, including buttons, handholds, pull cords, rails, steering wheels, door handles, shift knobs, dashboard controls, and stanchions.
  3. Dust- and wet-mop vehicle floors.
  4. Remove trash.
  5. Wipe heat and air conditioner vents.
  6. Spot cleaning walls and seats.
  7. Dust horizontal surfaces.
  8. Clean spills.
  9. If soft or porous surfaces (e.g., fabric seats, upholstery, carpets) are visibly dirty, clean them using appropriate cleaners and then disinfect soft or porous surfaces using EPA Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
  10. Staff should be trained to use disinfectants in a safe and effective manner and to clean up potentially infectious materials and body fluid spills.

Precautions for Transportation Operators

Program managers and staff must make sure transportation operators take the following precautions when transporting children.

  1. For transit operators, potential sources of exposure include having close contact with a vehicle passenger with COVID-19, by contacting surfaces touched or handled by a person with COVID-19, or by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
  2. Request passengers avoid standing or sitting within 6 feet of the vehicle driver, wherever possible.
  3. Drivers and monitors must wear masks or face coverings. Riders over the age of 2 should be encouraged to wear masks or face coverings. For highlights of the guidance regarding masks and face coverings visit our blog by clicking, here.
  4. Avoid touching surfaces often touched by vehicle passengers.
  5. Use gloves if required to touch surfaces contaminated by bodily fluids.
  6. Proper hand hygiene is an important infection control measure. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially:
    1. After going to the bathroom
    2. Before eating
    3. After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    4. Upon entering and exiting the vehicle.
    5. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  7. Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, including surfaces in the driver cockpit commonly touched by the driver.
  8. Ensure drivers and monitors have adequate supplies of soap, paper towels, tissues, hand sanitizers, cleaning supplies, and garbage bags.

Driver/Monitor Who Are Sick

If driver and/or monitor are sick, they must stay home and not come to work. Do not schedule them to work if they are sick.

Transportation for Children with Special Needs and Vulnerable Children

Program managers and staff must ensure the following transportation protocols are adhered to so as to ensure that children with special needs and vulnerable children who rely on transportation will be able to access program services.

  1. Screenings must be conducted before children, vehicle drivers, and vehicle staff board the bus.
  2. Transportation practices must adhere to physical distancing guidelines, as discussed above.
  3. Vehicle drop off must be adjusted to meet physical distancing guidelines. Vehicles must off load and load one vehicle at a time, unless the location allows for enough distance between vehicles.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCFDAOSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for reopening. Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every business has access to the resources necessary to meet these strict guidelines. For those businesses, we are here to help!

Certified SERVPRO Clean

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Why Hire Water Remediation Professionals

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton Wellesley are certified water restoration experts and use tools and techniques scientifically proven to help. Knowing who is responsible for what aspect of restoration and recovery in your home after a loss incident can be stressful and overwhelming. Our technicians can make it easy by offering a comprehensive approach encompassing nearly every phase of restoration and later build back necessary.

Even basics like water cleanup for Hopkinton, MA commercial and residential properties can indicate different tasks that professionals like ours need to complete. We can work with your insurance provider to offer you a fast and reliable service that follows the boundaries of your coverage and limits any out-of-pocket expenses for you.

Your property needs to get thoroughly dried after a loss incident, and this can have a direct effect on the speed and final product of cleaning processes. We have professional grade, state-of-the-art equipment that can begin drying out damaged areas of your house quickly. With units like high-velocity air movers and desiccant dehumidifiers, we can provide customers with effective drying solutions that can return their property to its original condition sooner than expected.

Many property owners consider cutting out the middleman when it comes to restoring their houses, but there are potential pitfalls to this approach. Not only can DIY cleanup be ineffective when the full spectrum of moisture damage does not get addressed, but without the appropriate potent products and technologies for cleaning, your property might not only look like it used to, but also, may not be properly remediated, increasing the possibility of mold growth. We offer:

  • Professional and efficient service
  • EPA approved, commercial grade cleaning products
  • Thorough results

Cleaning up after a water loss can be a necessary step in making disasters “Like it never even happened.” Call the experts at SERVPRO of Newton Wellesley today, (617) 332-9000!

Planning To Reopen - Phase 2 Child Programs Minimum Requirements, Part 10

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

Child care and youth-serving programs remain a critical component in Governor Charlie Baker's overall plan to reopen the state of Massachusetts and get the residents of the Commonwealth back to work. To prepare for successful reopening of child care programs, recreational camps, and youth programs the Governor Baker's administration has developed minimum guidelines for reopening child and youth programsThe following highlights the minimum requirements for general cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting indoor and outdoor play areas, after potential exposure in day programs as well as additional considerations that should be taken.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our "Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDA, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

These requirements apply to all child and youth-serving programs, including recreational summer programs, recreational summer camps for children, municipal or recreational youth programs not traditionally licensed as camps, family child care, and center-based child care. As more is learned about the virus guidelines are updated accordingly. Those charged with planning to reopen child and youth programs should check the both the Massachusetts department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the CDC website regularly to make sure that they are following the latest guidance. 

Programs that are unable to must make the following changes to their operations or remain closed and reopen at a later date.

Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting Indoor Play Areas

Program managers must have staff charged with cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting indoor play areas must follow these guidelines.

  1. Children’s books, like other paper-based materials such as mail or envelopes, are not considered a high risk for transmission and do not need additional cleaning or disinfection procedures. Programs should conduct regular inspection and disposal of books or other paper-based materials that are heavily soiled or damaged.
  2. Machine washable cloth toys cannot be used at all.
  3. Toys that children have placed in their mouths or that are otherwise contaminated by body secretions or excretions must be set aside until they are cleaned by hand by a person wearing gloves. Clean with water and detergent, rinse, sanitize with an EPA-registered sanitizer, and air-dry or clean in a mechanical dishwasher.
  4. For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls, remove visible contamination if present. Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics. Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting. If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Wait in accordance with manufacturer’s directions and then dry surface thoroughly or allow to air dry. Provide cleaning materials for older children to clean their own electronics.

Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting Outdoor Play Areas

Program managers must have staff charged with cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting outdoor play areas must follow these guidelines.

  1. Communal parks and playgrounds must not be utilized. This includes public offsite playgrounds as well as playgrounds shared by multiple programs or houses. Playgrounds shared by multiple programs and houses may be used provided there is a plan for proper cleaning and disinfection between each group’s use.
  2. High touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, including play structures, tables and benches, should be frequently cleaned and disinfected.
  3. Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces or groundcovers (mulch, sand) is not recommended.
  4. Communal pools must not be utilized.
  5. Programs may use their own indoor and outdoor swimming pools in accordance with guidance.
  6. All pools must meet the regulatory requirements of the state of Massachusetts' sanitary codes for minimum standards for swimming pools as well as any additional more restrictive MA state or local requirements or orders in response to COVID-19.
  7. Handrails and pool ladders must be disinfected frequently throughout the program day.

Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting After Potential Exposure in Day Programs

If staff suspects a potential exposure, they must conduct cleaning and disinfecting as follows.

  1. Close off areas visited by the ill persons. Open outside doors and windows and use ventilating fans to increase air circulation in the area. Wait 24 hours or as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
  2. Programs must plan for availability of alternative space while areas are out of use. 
  3. Cleaning staff must clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment (e.g., tablets, touch screens, keyboards) used by the ill persons, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.

Additional Considerations

The state requires that those managing child care and youth programs to consider the following precautions.

  1. Staff clothing must not be worn again until after being laundered at the warmest temperature possible.
  2. Programs must comply with OSHA’s standards on Bloodborne Pathogens, including proper disposal of regulated waste and PPE.
  3. Programs shall follow CDC infection control guidelines designed to protect individuals from exposure to diseases spread by blood, bodily fluids, or excretions that may spread infectious disease.
  4. Health precautions include, but are not limited to, the use of PPE, proper disposal containers for contaminated waste, handwashing and proper handling of bodily waste.
    1. Non-latex gloves shall be provided and used for the clean-up of blood and bodily fluids
    2. Used gloves and any other materials containing blood or other bodily fluids shall be thrown away in a lined, covered container. Only material saturated/dripping with blood is considered medical waste and must be stored and disposed of pursuant to the regulations. Materials such as band-aids, tissues and others with minimal blood are not considered medical waste
    3. Contaminated clothing shall be sealed in a plastic container or bag, labeled with the child’s name, and returned to the parent at the end of the day
    4. Sharps waste shall be stored and disposed of in appropriate sharps containers with the word biohazard and the universal biohazard symbol.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCFDAOSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for reopening. Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every business has access to the resources necessary to meet these strict guidelines. For those businesses, we are here to help!

Certified SERVPRO Clean

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Phase 2 Child Programs Minimum Requirements, Part 9

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Child care and youth-serving programs remain a critical component in Governor Charlie Baker's overall plan to reopen the state of Massachusetts and get the residents of the Commonwealth back to work. To prepare for successful reopening of child care programs, recreational camps, and youth programs the Governor Baker's administration has developed minimum guidelines for reopening child and youth programsThe following highlights the minimum requirements for general cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our "Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDA, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

These requirements apply to all child and youth-serving programs, including recreational summer programs, recreational summer camps for children, municipal or recreational youth programs not traditionally licensed as camps, family child care, and center-based child care. As more is learned about the virus guidelines are updated accordingly. Those charged with planning to reopen child and youth programs should check the both the Massachusetts department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the CDC website regularly to make sure that they are following the latest guidance. 

Programs that are unable to must make the following changes to their operations or remain closed and reopen at a later date.

Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting Resources and Supplies

The following is information about what supplies must be used for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.

  1. Programs must use EPA-registered disinfectants and sanitizers for use against COVID-19. Follow directions on the label, including ensuring that the disinfectant or sanitizer is approved for that type of surface (such as food-contact surfaces).
  2. When EPA-approved disinfectants are not available, a dilute bleach solution can be used. For example, add 1/3 cup of household bleach to 1 gallon of water OR 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water. Alternatively, a 70% alcohol can be applied.
  3. All bleach and water dilutions must be freshly mixed every 24 hours. Bleach solutions must be prepared daily to ensure their ability to safely sanitize or disinfect. When preparing sanitizing or disinfecting dilutions always add bleach to water. This helps to avoid bleach splashes caused by adding water to bleach. Use either the sanitizing or the disinfecting dilution as specified above.
  4. Many cleaning agents can be irritants and trigger acute symptoms in children with asthma or other respiratory conditions. Programs must not prepare cleaning solutions in close proximity to children.
  5. Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection, and ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against COVID-19 when properly diluted. Some bleaches, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing or for whitening may not be suitable for disinfection.
  6. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute.
  7. Programs shall use child-safe cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting solutions and children should never be present when mixing solutions.
  8. Only single use, disposable paper towels shall be used for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. Sponges shall not be used for sanitizing or disinfecting.
  9. All sanitizing and disinfecting solutions must be labeled properly to identify the contents, kept out of the reach of children, and stored separately from food items. Do not store sanitizing and disinfecting solutions in beverage containers.
  10. Avoid aerosols, because they contain propellants that can affect breathing. Pump or trigger sprays are preferred.

Proper Usage of Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting Supplies

Proper guidelines must be followed when cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. Staff responsible for cleaning should understand and adhere to the proper use and application of all solutions used. 

  1. All sanitizing and disinfecting solutions must be used in areas with adequate ventilation and never in close proximity to children as to not trigger acute symptoms in children with asthma or other respiratory conditions. Do not spray chemicals around children. If possible, move children to another area or have someone distract them away from the area where a chemical is being used.
  2. To ensure effective cleaning and disinfecting, always clean surfaces with soap and water first, then disinfect using a diluted bleach solution, alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol, or an EPA approved disinfectant for use against the virus that causes COVID-19. Cleaning first will allow the disinfecting product to work as intended to destroy germs on the surface.
  3. Use all cleaning products according to the directions on the label. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for concentration, application method, and contact time for all cleaning and disinfection products.
  4. Surfaces and equipment must air dry after sanitizing or disinfecting. Do not wipe dry unless it is a product instruction. Careful supervision is needed to ensure that children are not able to touch the surface until it is completely dry.
  5. Keep all chemicals out of the reach of children both during storage and in use.
  6. Keep chemicals in their original containers. If this is not possible, label the alternate container to prevent errors.
  7. Do not mix chemicals. Doing so can produce a toxic gas.

General Guidelines for Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting

Program staff charged with cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting must follow these general guidelines.

  1. Intensify the program’s routine cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting practices, paying extra attention to frequently touched objects and surfaces, including doorknobs, bathrooms and sinks, keyboards, and bannisters.
  2. Clean and disinfect toys and activity items, including sports and specialty camp activity equipment (e.g. and climbing walls), used by children more frequently than usual and take extra care to ensure that all objects that children put in their mouths are removed from circulation, cleaned, and sanitized before another child is allowed to use it.
  3. While cleaning and disinfecting, staff must wear gloves as much as possible. Handwashing or use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after these procedures is always required, whether or not gloves are used.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCFDAOSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for reopening. Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every business has access to the resources necessary to meet these strict guidelines. For those businesses, we are here to help!

Certified SERVPRO Clean

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Phase 2 Child Programs Minimum Requirements, Part 8

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

Child care and youth-serving programs are a critical component in Governor Charlie Baker's overall plan to reopen the state of Massachusetts and get the residents of the Commonwealth back to work. To prepare for reopening child care programs, recreational camps, and youth programs the administration has developed minimum guidelines for reopening child and youth programsThe following highlights the minimum requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) and face masks or coverings.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our "Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDA, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

These requirements apply to all child and youth-serving programs, including recreational summer programs, recreational summer camps for children, municipal or recreational youth programs not traditionally licensed as camps, family child care, and center-based child care. As more is learned about the virus guidelines are updated accordingly. Those charged with planning to reopen child and youth programs should check the both the Massachusetts department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the CDC website regularly to make sure that they are following the latest guidance. 

Programs that are unable to must make the following changes to their operations or remain closed and reopen at a later date.

Face Masks and Coverings

Those managing the daily operations of childcare and youth programs should encourage the wearing of masks or cloth face coverings during the program day. Whenever 6 feet of physical distancing is not possible, masks must be worn.

  1. To slow the spread of COVID-19, program staff are encouraged to wear a cloth face covering while serving children and interacting with parents and families. Program staff are required to wear a cloth face covering whenever 6 feet of physical distancing is not possible. Programs are encouraged to consider the use of transparent face coverings to allow for the reading of facial expressions, which is important for child development.
  2. When possible and at the discretion of the parent or guardian of the child, programs should encourage the wearing of masks or cloth face coverings for children age 2 and older who can safely and appropriately wear, remove, and handle masks. Additional guidance on use of face coverings and masks by children is as follows:
    1. Children under the age of 2 years should not wear face coverings or masks.
    2. When children can be safely kept at least 6 feet away from others, then they do not need to be encouraged to wear a mask.
    3. Masks must not be worn while children are eating/drinking, sleeping, and napping. Strict and consistent physical distancing must be practiced at all times during these activities. Masks do not need to be worn while engaging in active outdoor play, if children are able to keep physical distance from others.
    4. Children 2 years of age and older must be supervised when wearing a mask. If wearing the face covering causes the child to touch their face more frequently, staff must reconsider whether the mask is appropriate for the child.
  3. Families should provide their children with a sufficient supply of clean masks and face coverings for their child to allow replacing the covering as needed. These families must have a plan for routine cleaning of masks and face coverings, clearly mark masks with child’s name and room number, if applicable, and clearly distinguish which side of the covering should be worn facing outwards so they are worn properly each day. If families are unable to provide masks, programs should provide masks for children and youth, as necessary. Masks and face coverings must be routinely washed (at least daily and any time the mask is used or becomes soiled) depending on the frequency of use. When possible, masks must be washed in a washing machine in hot water and dried fully before using again. If a washing machine is unavailable, masks must be washed with soap and hot water and allowed to dry fully before using again.
  4. If using a disposable mask, follow CDC guidance on proper daily removal. Grasp bottom ties or elastics of the mask, then the ones at the top, and remove without touching the front. Discard in a waste container and wash hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately. 
  5. Staff must enforce the wearing of face masks by parents or guardians when on the premises and at all times during drop-off and pick-up. Programs must regularly remind families and staff that all individuals are encouraged to adhere to the CDC’s recommendations for wearing a mask or cloth face covering whenever going out in public and/or around other people.
  6. Staff must teach and reinforce use of cloth face coverings among all program staff. Face coverings are most essential at times when physical distancing is not possible. Staff must be frequently reminded not to touch the face covering and to wash their hands frequently. Information must be provided to all staff on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.

Exceptions to Use of Face Masks/Coverings

Exceptions for wearing face masks include situations that may inhibit an individual from wearing a face mask safely. These may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Children under the age of 2 years
  2. Children who cannot safely and appropriately wear, remove, and handle masks
  3. Children who have difficulty breathing with the face covering or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance
  4. Children with severe cognitive or respiratory impairments that may have a hard time tolerating a face mask
  5. Children where the only option for a face covering presents a potential choking or strangulation hazard
  6. Individuals who cannot breathe safely with a face covering, including those who require supplemental oxygen to breathe
  7. Individuals who, due to a behavioral health diagnosis or an intellectual impairment, are unable to wear a face covering safely
  8. Individuals who need to communicate with people who rely upon lip-reading.

When to Use Gloves

Staff must wear gloves when appropriate and at all times during the following activities. Program managers should consult with a child’s medical records and identify any allergies when determining type of gloves to use. Handwashing or use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after these procedures is always required, whether or not gloves are used.

  1. Diapering
  2. Food preparation
  3. Screening activities requiring contact
  4. Applying sunscreen.

After removing gloves for any reason, hand hygiene should be performed with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water. Additionally, as a means to reduce cross-contamination, disposable gloves should always be discarded after the following instances.

  1. Visible soiling or contamination with blood, respiratory or nasal secretions, or other body fluids occurs.
  2. Any signs of damage (e.g., holes, rips, tearing) or degradation are observed.
  3. Maximum of four hours of continuous use.
  4. Disposable glove “re-use” is not permitted as previously removed gloves have an increased risk of both tearing and contamination.
  5. Gloves should be removed following activities where glove usage is required including diapering, food preparation, applying sunscreen, and screening activities requiring contact.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCFDAOSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for reopening. Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every business has access to the resources necessary to meet these strict guidelines. For those businesses, we are here to help!

Certified SERVPRO Clean

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Phase 2 Child Programs Minimum Requirements, Part 7

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

Governor Charlie Baker believes that, "one way you reduce the size of the problem that you have in the fall is by doing everything you can to squeeze as much of the heat out of the virus as you possibly can between now and then." Due to this belief, the beginning of Phase 3 of his plan to reopen the state of Massachusetts has been delayed for at least one week and will start no sooner than July 6. In preparation for the beginning of Phase 3 we will continue to share the administration's minimum guidelines for reopening child and youth programs as the preparedness of these programs is vital to the overall success of reopening the Commonwealth. The following highlights the minimum requirements for acceptable hygiene and health practices.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our "Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDA, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

These requirements apply to all child and youth-serving programs, including recreational summer programs, recreational summer camps for children, municipal or recreational youth programs not traditionally licensed as camps, family child care, and center-based child care. As more is learned about the virus guidelines are updated accordingly. Those charged with planning to reopen child and youth programs should check the both the Massachusetts department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the CDC website regularly to make sure that they are following the latest guidance. 

Programs that are unable to must make the following changes to their operations or remain closed and reopen at a later date.

Resources and Supplies

Child care and youth program managers must plan ahead to ensure that the program has adequate supplies to promote frequent and effective hygiene behaviors. Programs must have the following materials and supplies:

  1. Handwashing facilities with soap, water, and disposable paper towels must be readily accessible to all children and staff. Post handwashing instructions near every handwashing sink and where they can easily be seen by children and staff. (2)
  2. Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol may be utilized at times when handwashing is not available, as appropriate to the ages of children and only with written parent permission to use.6 Hand sanitizer must be stored securely and used only under supervision of staff. Staff must make sure children do not put hands wet with sanitizer in their mouth and must teach children proper use. 6 While hand sanitizer may be used by children over 2 years of age with parental permission, handwashing is the preferred and safer method.
  3. Hand hygiene stations must be set up at the entrance of the premises, so that children can clean their hands before they enter. If a sink with soap and water is not available, provide hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol next to parent sign-in sheets and allow use in accordance with the guidelines above. If hand sanitizer use is not appropriate or not approved and there is no soap and water at the entrance, children must be instructed to go to the nearest handwashing station upon entry. Keep hand sanitizer out of children’s reach and supervise use.
  4. If possible, place sign-in stations outside the program space and have contactless sign in, such as application or web based. If pens are required, they must be disinfected between uses or must be provided for individual only use.

When to Wash Hands

Children and staff must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer often, making sure to wash all surfaces of their hands (e.g., front and back, wrists, between fingers). Reinforce to staff and children that they must be regularly washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and should wash hands whenever the following criteria are met:

  1. Upon entry into and exit from program space
  2. When coming in to the program space from outside activities
  3. Before and after eating
  4. After sneezing, coughing or nose blowing
  5. After toileting and diapering
  6. Before handling food
  7. After touching or cleaning surfaces that may be contaminated
  8. After using any shared equipment like toys, computer keyboards, mouse, climbing walls
  9. After assisting children with handwashing;
  10. Before and after administration of medication
  11. Before entering vehicles used for transportation of children
  12. After contact with facemask or cloth face covering
  13. Before and after changes of gloves.

Cover Coughs or Sneezes

Children, families, and staff should avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth. Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and clean hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer (if soap and water are not readily available and with parental permission and careful supervision as appropriate to the ages of the child).

Additional Healthy Habits

Child care and youth program managers are encouraged to teach, model, and reinforce the following healthy habits with both staff and children.

  1. Staff must know and follow the steps needed for effective handwashing (use soap and water to wash all surfaces of their hands for at least 20 seconds, wait for visible lather, rinse thoroughly and dry with individual disposable towel).
  2. Build in monitored handwashing for children at all necessary times throughout the day (e.g., upon arrival, before and after meals, after toileting and diapering, after coughing and sneezing, after contact with bodily fluids). Post visual steps of appropriate handwashing to assist children or cue them to sing the "Happy Birthday" song TWICE (approx. 20 seconds) as the length of time they need to wash their hands.
  3. Assist children with handwashing.
  4. Keep hand sanitizer out of the reach of children and monitor use closely. Due to its high alcohol content, ingesting hand sanitizer can be toxic for a child. Supervise children when they use hand sanitizer to make sure they rub their hands until completely dry, so they do not get sanitizer in their eyes or mouth.
  5. Explain to children why it is not healthy to share drinks or food, particularly when sick. 
  6. Teach children to use tissue to wipe their nose and to cough inside their elbow. They must wash their hands with soap and water immediately afterwards.
  7. Ask parents and caregivers to wash their own hands and assist in washing the hands of their children before dropping off, prior to coming for pick up, and when they get home.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCFDAOSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for reopening. Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every business has access to the resources necessary to meet these strict guidelines. For those businesses, we are here to help!

Certified SERVPRO Clean

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s:

Consult, Clean, and Certify

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help 24 hours a day, every day of the year including holidays! Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today at (617) 332-9000 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Phase 2 Child Programs Minimum Requirements, Part 6

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

Even though we learned that Governor Charlie Baker has delayed the beginning of Phase 3 of his plan to reopen the Commonwealth for at least one week there is still work to be done. We will continue to share the administration's  minimum guidelines for reopening child and youth programs  as the preparedness of these programs is vital to the overall success of reopening the state of Massachusetts. The following highlights the minimum requirements for isolation and discharge of sick children and or staff. 

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our "Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDA, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

These requirements apply to all child and youth-serving programs, including recreational summer programs, recreational summer camps for children, municipal or recreational youth programs not traditionally licensed as camps, family child care, and center-based child care. As more is learned about the virus guidelines are updated accordingly. Those charged with planning to reopen child and youth programs should check the both the Massachusetts department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the CDC website regularly to make sure that they are following the latest guidance. 

Programs that are unable to must make the following changes to their operations or remain closed and reopen at a later date.

Isolation and Discharge

Programs must take the following actions to prepare for a potential exposure.

  1. Designate a separate space to isolate children or staff who may become sick, with the door closed (or a solid barrier) if possible. Isolated children must be supervised at all times. A private or separate bathroom must be made available for use by sick individuals only. Others must not enter isolation room/space without PPE appropriate to the care setting. A location with an open window and/or good air circulation is optimal. In family child care settings with one adult, staff should isolate children who may become sick using a barrier to maintain adequate supervision of all children.
  2. If your facility does not have designated isolation rooms/spaces, determine a pre-specified location/facility to which you will be sending patients presenting with COVID-19 symptoms.
  3. Have an emergency back-up plan for staff coverage in case a child or staff becomes sick.
  4. Know the contact information for the local board of health in the city or town in which the program is located.
  5. Have masks and other cloth face coverings available for use by children and staff who become symptomatic, until they have left the premises of the program.
  6. Designate a separate exit from the exit used to regularly exit for those being discharged due to suspected infection.

Symptomatic - Children

If a child becomes symptomatic, programs must follow the protocols below:

  1. Immediately isolate from other children and minimize exposure to staff.
  2. Whenever possible, cover children’s (age 2 and older) noses and mouths with a mask or cloth face covering.
  3. Contact the child’s parents and have the child picked up as soon as possible.
  4. Follow the program’s plan for the transportation of a child who has developed symptoms and who relies on program transportation.

Symptomatic - Staff

If a staff member becomes symptomatic, they must cease child care duties immediately and be removed from others until they can leave. Staff must regularly self-monitor during the day to screen for new symptoms. If new symptoms are detected among a staff member, follow the requirements above for Isolation and Discharge and Symptomatic - Children.

Sick Children or Staff

Children and or Staff who are COVID-19 positive or symptomatic and presumed to have COVID-19 must not return until they have met the criteria for discontinuing home isolation and have consulted with a health care provider. Determine the date of symptom onset for the child/staff. Determine if the child/staff attended/worked at the program while symptomatic or during the two days before symptoms began. Identify what days the child/staff attended/worked during that time to determine all who had close contact with the sick individual during those days. 

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 but is asymptomatic, isolation may be discontinued when at least 10 days have passed from the date of the positive test, as long as the individual remains asymptomatic. 

Notifying Required Parties

In the event that a program experiences an exposure, programs must notify the following parties.

  1. Employees and families about exposure but maintain confidentiality.
  2. Local board of health if a child or staff is COVID-19 positive.
  3. Funding and licensing agencies if a child or staff member has tested positive.

Self-Isolating

In the event that a staff member or child is exposed  or has potentially been exposed to a sick or symptomatic person, the following protocols must be followed.

  1. If a child or staff has been exposed to COVID-19, regardless of whether the individual has symptoms or not, the child or staff must not be permitted to enter the program space and must be sent home. Exposed individuals must be directed to stay home for at least 14 days after the last day of contact with the person who is sick. The program must consult the local board of health for guidance on quarantine for other children and staff and what additional precautions will be needed to ensure the program space is safe for continued child care services.
  2. If an exposed child or staff subsequently tests positive or their doctor says they have confirmed or probable COVID-19, they must be directed to stay home for a minimum of 10 days from the 1st day of symptoms appearing AND be fever-free for 72 hours without fever reducing medications AND experience significant improvements in symptoms. Release from isolation is under the jurisdiction of the local board of health where the individual resides.
  3. If a child’s household member or staff’s household member tests positive for COVID-19, the child or staff must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last time they could have been exposed.

Quarantine

If an exposed child or staff remains asymptomatic and/or tests negative for COVID-19 they must remain in quarantine and continue to monitor for the full 14 days.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCFDAOSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for reopening. Also, we at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley know that not every business has access to the resources necessary to meet these strict guidelines. For those businesses, we are here to help!

Certified SERVPRO Clean

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley today for a free consultation - (617) 332-9000.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!