Nurseries manual: “.. All nursery employees should undergo a Corona test”


May 31, 2020

Amman - Prepared by a joint committee of the National Council for Family Affairs and the Ministries of Social Development and Health, the new nursey manual sets forth a package of safety and health procedures and measures that should be observed throughout nurseries to limit the spread of the Coronavirus in their facilities. The measures covered staff-related conditions and all procedures starting from a child’s drop off at the nursery to the time of pick-up by parent, in addition to other issues including sterilization, hygiene, and social distancing among children.

The procedures, as prescribed in the manual which Al-Ghad obtained a copy of, stipulate that a nursery worker should have a negative Coronavirus test result before she can come to work, provided that she is not pregnant or breastfeeding or suffers from chronic diseases or immunodeficiency.

The manual specifies that if there is a confirmed case of COVID 19 in the nursery, it will be closed for 17 days, and the child would need a negative test result before s/he is allowed to come back to the nursery, stressing the need to train workers on remote (on-line) work as a prerequisite for opening the facility.

The child will not be admitted unless a certified medical report is presented indicating his recovery.

The guidelines also stipulate that: children should be examined weekly by a certified nursery doctor, a medical report for all children should be prepared, and a room should be designated for the isolation of suspected cases until they are handed over to their families.

Parents of children are to sign a written commitment not to bring their children if they/their children were in close contact with a person with COVID, and children showing symptoms such as high body temperature, dry cough, vomiting, runny nose and shortness of breath are not allowed to enter the nursery.

Guidelines also specify 50% capacity for the nursery with the provision of thermal sensors to measure the temperature of children inside the nursery periodically, especially at the point of drop-off. They also require placing sanitizers at the nursery entrance, and taking care to clean all surfaces and floors with disinfectants at appropriate concentrations; also required are soap and water on a daily basis, disinfecting and sanitizing the playhouse, the children's kitchen, the slides and swings, and directly drying all surfaces, taking into account the absence of children in the area that is being sterilized.

Moreover, the time of drop off and pickup of children should be scheduled and divided by communicating with parents to prevent overcrowding and to maintain physical spacing.

The guidelines also called for increasing air flow and ventilation (when weather conditions permit); educating older children about the need to observe personal hygiene and refrain from touching their faces as much as possible; imposing hand washing; taking into account health conditions when feeding children; ensuring food and utensils are not shared in any way among children; and disinfecting surfaces and tools after meals.

With regard to sanitation, the manual requires constant disposal of waste, the use of  touchless trashcans and intensified use of sanitizers and detergents, taking into account storing sterilization and cleaning materials in a designated locked place out of the reach of children, placing the hand sanitizer at a place higher than children's reach and sterilizing the bathroom before and after every use. Moreover, it also prevents the sharing of beds, sheets and mattresses and calls for ensuring physical distancing among children at all times.

If a child shows any symptoms, s/he is to be instantly isolated from the rest of the children in a separate room with his/her caregiver until s/he is handed over to his/her family, while exercising caution not to infect the caregiver.

Social distancing is also to be observed to the best of their ability with a policy of separating children of different age groups in separate rooms as much as possible, especially for infants and toddlers; guidelines also advise against sharing of games (for toddlers) and group time activities that require crowding and contact among children.

Caregivers are required to constantly sterilize or wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before preparing meals, after feeding children, before and after changing diapers, when accompanying the child to the bathroom and before providing care for infants; and in the event that hands are visibly dirty, wash hands before sterilizing them with an alcohol-based sanitizer with no less than 70% concentration.  

The manual stipulates cooperation with employers in the implementation of the prevention strategies that reduce the chance of the spread of COVID-19 to ensure the continuity of operations as much as possible.