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Beaumont daycare owner says state should offer more guidance for child care facilities as coronavirus closures continue

Only thirty children were taken to Happy Beginnings on Thursday. There are 90 on the daycare's roster.

BEAUMONT, Texas — A Beaumont daycare owner is left wondering what to do after the state began temporary closing restaurant dining rooms and schools.

Chad Cross owns Happy Beginnings. He says he wrote two letters earlier this week. One says the daycare will close its doors and the other says it will stay open. 

He still doesn't know which one he'll be sending home to parents. 

"There's no guidance, we're kind of left on our own to make our own decision," Cross said. 

He says not knowing is the worst part.  He knows schools are closing doors, but is still at a crossroad. 

"I'm not a school, so I don't have an endless supply of funds, you know, is the government gonna help me? Am I gonna be able to get a small business loan so that I can continue operations? I don't know any of those answers, nobody has said anything," Cross said. 

In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said they requested guidance from the Department of State Health Services for daycares.   

"We got an email from them and after reading through it, it was no guidance," Branick said.  

Cross said if he closes the daycare, there will be a lot of parents without child care. 

"But the flip side of that is you know, children in daycare are basically little Petri dishes, so I mean everything that they touch goes in their mouth. It is a big concern. This year we had a very bad flu year," Cross said. 

There are 90 kids on the daycare's roster. On Thursday, only 30 were dropped off. 

Dr. Gary Minnie with the Medical Center of Southeast Texas says good hygiene and distance is key in this situation. 

"So obviously it sounds like parents are already social distancing their kids from these daycares," Minnie said. "If you can get 10 or less per room and keep them separated then you're probably doing okay."

Texas Health and Human Services is asking childcare providers to screen everyone coming into the building, but Cross is still asking for more guidance from government and health officials. 

"They have given us some guidelines to hand washing and cleanliness and trying to keep the spread of stuff but with kids it's so hard," Cross said. 

For now, Happy Beginnings will remain open and is following guidelines provided by HHS. Chad Cross says they'll also start taking the temperatures of everyone who comes into the building. 

"The problem is this is changing hour by hour, day by day. I don't know. I need someone to tell me what to do," Cross said.

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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

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Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

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Help stop the spread of coronavirus 

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash

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Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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