OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — According to Phil Rooney, Resource Specialist with the Douglas County Health Department, a Northwest Omaha preschool and childcare center is temporarily closed following a COVID-19 outbreak. Rosewood Academy Childcare & Preschool, near 158th and Fort streets, will be shut down for ten days because at least 23 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been linked to the business.
Rooney said that this did not result from a sanitation problem and that the academy has been "very good" about cleanliness. The outbreaks resulted from an infected person who exposed others.
On Friday afternoon, Kelli Hansen, the owner of Rosewood Academy released the following statment:
The health and safety of the children, families and staff at Rosewood Academy Childcare and Preschool are our top priority. For more than a year, as communities have worked to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have been vigilant in following recommended guidelines and requirements of the Douglas County Health Department and other public health experts, including screening and cleaning procedures. Doing so helped provide families with uninterrupted operations at each of our three locations during the pandemic.
Despite our best efforts, we recently learned of COVID-19 infections involving staff members and children at our Northwest location during the first week of March; we immediately voluntarily closed that location. Closing the whole center rather than closing room by room was a proactive measure intended to minimize the impact to families’ vacation time and be considerate of their need to make other arrangements for their childcare and workplace settings.
We took action to clean and sanitize the facility before reopening on March 15 and implemented screening procedures beyond recommended health guidelines by instructing staff to send children home if they presented a fever above 99 degrees as opposed to the 100.4 degrees requirement.
This week, we were notified of additional COVID-19 cases among staff and children at our Northwest location, and in communication and cooperation with the Douglas County Health Department, we closed the Northwest location for a minimum of 10 days effective March 18. We provided instruction to families and staff on quarantine requirements before returning to Rosewood Academy Childcare and Preschool. Our Northwest location will remain closed with potential to reopen March 29 upon evaluation and consultation with the Douglas County Health Department.
We will continue to take precautionary and proactive measures, expect staff members to continue to report COVID symptoms to us and require children and staff fulfill quarantine requirements outlined by the Douglas County Health Department after any positive test result, which has always been our procedure since the arrival of the virus. We will continue to work with the Douglas County Health Department and follow its guidance before reopening our Northwest location to maintain the safety of children, families and staff.
Both children and staff are affected and the children range in age from infant to 5 years old. The county is waiting on additional test results and Rooney said that the process of testing those who might have been exposed could be slow because it involves multiple counties of residence.