Dear Launch Families,
With the increase in COVID-19 cases in King County, Washington State, and across the country, as well as some updates from health officials, Launch wanted to reach out to remind all families how we can keep our students, families and staff safe.
We have been successful in keeping our students, staff and families safe during the pandemic through vigorous health and safety procedures. These include extensive cleaning throughout the day, students and staff health checks, strong hygiene practices, mask wearing, and encouraging social & physical distancing. Please see the DRAFT of the Public Health of Seattle & King County letters that will be used to notify families in the event of a positive case in any program. These letters offer additional insight into the steps we will take if a case is confirmed.
Please read the below health and safety guidance carefully, as there have been some specific updates. Please also be aware that on Friday, November 13, 2020, Governor Inslee issued a new travel advisory for Washington State. More information about the travel advisory is below.
Travel Advisory for Non-Essential Travel
- Persons arriving in Washington from other states or countries, including returning Washington residents, should practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. These persons should limit their interactions to their immediate household. This recommendation does not apply to individuals who cross state or country borders for essential travel.
- Washingtonians are encouraged to stay home or in their region and avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries. Avoiding travel can reduce the risk of virus transmission and bringing the virus back to Washington.
UPDATED LAUNCH COVID-19 SAFETY PROCEDURES – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
Please read the below information carefully as some of it has been updated to reflect the latest recommendations from Public Health of Seattle & King County and the CDC.
The following procedures are required for all Launch staff, parents/guardians, and children:
In order to have a child in our care, parents/guardians will:
- Provide a clean facemask for your child to use each day. Site staff will provide one if your child(ren)’s mask becomes soiled or breaks. ALL children ages 5-12 will be required to wear a facemask at all times while indoors and when unable to social/physical distance while outdoors. Children 3-5 years old will be encouraged to the best of their ability to keep the masks on throughout the day.
- Accommodations will be made for any children for whom this is not feasible. Please contact your Program Site Manager regarding any needed accommodations.
- If your child(ren) has any health or medical needs that present similar symptoms to COVID-19, inform your Program Site Manager immediately and they will share with you the steps you will need to take to ensure that we can appropriately and immediately accommodate your child. You may also refer to the COVID-19 Fact Sheet for Families from Public Health of Seattle & King County.
- Keep your child(ren) home if they exhibit symptoms of illness, including, but not limited to a fever (100.4ºF or higher), cough, flu-like symptoms, runny nose and/or congestion, sore throat, signs of respiratory illness or shortness of breath, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, or they develop other symptoms that are associated with COVID-19. Please refer to the document Keep Me Home If… from Public Health of Seattle & King County.
What should I do if someone in my family develops symptoms of COVID-19 or has confirmed COVID-19?
- Anyone who is sick should stay home.
- If you or someone in your family has symptoms of COVID-19, call your medical provider to get tested or go to a free testing site: http://www.kingcounty.gov/COVID-19/testing
- Anyone who develops symptoms or has a confirmed case of COVID-19 should remain at home and away from others. Learn more at kingcounty.gov/depts/health/COVID-19/care
- Tell your child care or early learning program if you or someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19.
- If you are made aware that you or your child has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, as per Public Health of Seattle & King County recommendations, it is best to wait 5–7 days to be tested UNLESS you or your child develop symptoms. If you or your child develop symptoms, seek testing as soon as possible.
- Your child will not be able to return to Launch until a negative COVID-19 test is provided. Free COVID-19 testing is available at these locations. If you choose not to get tested, as per Public Health of Seattle & King County guidelines your child will be unable to return to Launch until it has been at least 10 days since their symptoms began AND at least 24 hours since their fever has resolved (without fever-reducing medication) AND their symptoms have improved.
Additional guidance around Symptoms and Care can be found HERE.
Launch families must:
- Alert Launch immediately if your child(ren) or a member of your household shows symptoms of an illness at home, or are confirmed to have COVID-19. Please contact your Program Site Manager. For information on how to care for someone who is ill with COVID-19, here are some safety guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
- Check your child(ren)’s temperature each night and keep any child(ren) with a fever of 100.4ºF or higher at home and alert Launch immediately.
- Wash your child(ren)’s hands before coming to our program each day.
- Ensure your child(ren) wash their hands when they return home.
- Share information with your child(ren) about how to wash their hands and help stop the spread of germs (we have provided some information below). This will also be reviewed with children while at Launch and posted at our sites.
- Drop-off and pick up your child(ren) at designated drop-off locations near the program entrance.
- Label all belongings, including your child(ren)’s masks, as no family members will be allowed to enter any of our facilities to look for missing belongings.
- Wait 6-10 feet from program staff while the Morning Health Check is performed and your child(ren) are being cleared to enter the program. Failure to wait could result in your child’s removal from the program.
- Provide up-to-date emergency contacts and phone numbers that can be reached immediately if your child(ren) become ill.
- Ensure that a family member or emergency contact can immediately pick up your child(ren). Failure to provide emergency contacts and updated contact information could result in your child’s removal from the program.
- Provide at least one reusable mask for your child, clearly marked with their name. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s ability to wear a mask, please contact your Program Site Manager.
- Per the Washington State Department of Health: If you are a Washington resident returning from a trip outside the state, we recommend you stay home as much as possible and limit interactions with others for 14 days. Monitor yourself and your household daily for any symptoms. If you or someone in your household feels sick at all, contact your health provider to get tested. For more information, please see Governor Inslee’s announcement on 11/13/2020.
- At the end of your child(ren)’s scheduled care for the week, a staff member will require your signature on the Attendance Form. Weekly signature procedures are site-specific and are based on the needs of the program. Please ask your Program Site Manager if you have any questions.
- If your child(ren) has any health or medical considerations, inform your Program Site Manager immediately and they will share with you the information and documentation we need so that we can best accommodate your child(ren).
In order to have a child in our care, Launch will:
- Conduct daily Morning Health Checks at the time of drop-off. This will include quick questions from a safe distance to parents/guardians from staff about symptoms of illness, including a fever (100.4ºF or higher), cough, runny nose and/or congestion, flu-like symptoms, sore throat, signs of respiratory illness, muscle pain, chills, shortness of breath, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, or any other symptoms that are associated with COVID-19.
- Conduct daily Afternoon Health Checks for signs of the above symptoms.
- Provide facemasks for all Launch employees, which are required throughout the day.
- Launch will provide facemasks to children if/when their mask(s) becomes soiled, breaks, or is unavailable.
- Conduct child temperature checks multiple times daily.
- Staff will have Health Checks daily upon entering the program and throughout the day. If staff exhibit symptoms of illness including a fever (100.4ºF or higher), cough, runny nose and/or congestion, flu-like symptoms, sore throat, signs of respiratory illness, muscle pain, chills or shortness of breath, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, or they develop other symptoms that are associated with COVID-19, they will be asked to stay at home and away from others, or leave the site and not return until their Primary Care Provider determines it is safe for them to return to work and Launch receives that documentation. Should a staff member test positive for COVID-19, as per Washington Administrative Code 110-300-0205 (8), a health care professional must provide a written note stating that the individual may safely return after being diagnosed with a contagious disease. If a staff member develops these symptoms, all families at that site will be notified. Please note that, while we will immediately notify families of a potential or confirmed case of COVID-19, we must maintain confidentiality and cannot disclose the name of the specific staff member experiencing symptoms.
- Make sure children and staff are frequently washing hands.
- Choose activities that encourage more social/physical space between all children and staff in order to practice good social distancing.
- Increase the frequency that we clean, sanitize, and disinfect all program areas.
- Encourage families to consider their options for backup child care plans if a closure occurs.
- Keep adequate supplies on hand including soap, sanitizer, paper towels, tissues, toilet paper, and cleaning and disinfecting products.
- Prohibit visitors into the facility.
- Prohibit communal sharing of food.
If any child becomes ill with a fever (100.4ºF) while in our care, they must be picked up immediately. Failure to pick up your child immediately, or failure to provide communication or emergency contacts who can pick up your child immediately could result in your child’s removal from the program.
If a child becomes ill with a fever greater than 100.4ºF while in our care:
- All families at that site will be notified. Please note that we will maintain confidentiality and will not disclose the name of the child experiencing symptoms.
- We will have a designated location in the program away from play areas but in view of staff where an ill child may wait and rest until being picked up by a parent or other designated adult. We will keep sick children and staff separate from well children and staff until they can leave.
- A child cannot return until the below protocol is completed:
A person who was tested and is positive for COVID-19 (a confirmed case) may return to child care when it has been:
- 10 days since their symptoms began
- AND at least 24 hours since their fever has resolved (without fever-reducing medication)
- AND their symptoms have improved
- AND they have provided Launch with a written note from their health care professional saying they may safely return to the program (as per Washington Administrative Code 110-300-0205 (8)). People who test positive for COVID-19 but never develop symptoms should remain at home and away from others for at least 10 days after the date of their first positive COVID-19 test.
A person with COVID-19 symptoms who tests negative for COVID-19 may return to child care when it has been:
- at least 24 hours since their fever has resolved (without fever-reducing medication)
- AND their symptoms have improved
- AND they or their parent/guardian provides written documentation of the negative test result to Launch. A person with COVID-19 symptoms who does not get tested (a suspected case) needs to follow the same criteria as a “confirmed case” (see above) before returning to child care.
If any staff member, child, or family/household member of a child is determined to have COVID-19, Launch will immediately notify all families (keeping confidentiality), the site may be closed, and the King County Dept. of Health notified.
If at any time, a staff, child, or family member tests positive for COVID-19, we reserve the right to shut down any of our locations for up to 2-14 days to deep clean and ensure we can safely provide care.
If we close a location due to a positive COVID-19 test, you will NOT be allowed to send your child to another one of our programs until 14 days have passed so we can ensure that we do not spread the virus to other locations within our Launch community.
If at any time Public Health of Seattle & King County, the CDC, the WHO, the Washington Governor’s Office, the Washington Department of Children, Youth & Families, the City of Seattle, the Washington Department of Health, or the federal government updates their mandates or recommendations for COVID-19 policies and practices, or enforces closures we will inform you of our required mandates and communicate any and all changes to our procedures.
 “Close contact” means being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before they started showing symptoms (or, for individuals with no symptoms, 48 hours before the date the positive test was collected) until the time the infected person is isolated. Close contact also happens if someone with COVID-19 coughs on you, kisses you, shares utensils with you, or you have contact with their body fluids. Ask staff and children who had close contact with the person who has COVID-19 to call their healthcare provider to get tested for COVID-19 or go to a free testing site. If they know when they were exposed to COVID-19, it is best to wait 5 – 7 days to be tested UNLESS the child/staff member develops symptoms. If they develop symptoms, they should seek testing as soon as possible. Close contacts should stay home away from others (quarantine) and watch for symptoms for 14 days from their last contact with that person.