Welp, it’s officially time to address the elephant in the room. Coronavirus is here in Chicago, and of course we all want to protect our families. Here at Le Village we frankly don’t care what virus it is, we don’t want it here! We make it a point to vinegar-clean our toys multiple times throughout the day, and we bleach our toys, equipment, and surfaces at the close of every day and our changing tables after every use. We teach our children to wash their hands and use a super catchy tune to make sure that we get the full 24 seconds in! (Attached to this email is our daily cleaning procedures, if you are curious, and the catchy tune you can use at home with them!). We have reviewed and are in line with Chicago Health Department’s best practices for childcare facilities.
Luckily for us, our members are not at high risk. Based on the data that we have coming out of China, children thus far have a less than 0.9 percent risk of contracting the virus. Of the 9 babies under 12 months that caught the virus in China, none required intensive care or mechanical ventilation or had any severe complications. In China, only 2.4 percent of reported cases were “children” (under 18) and only 0.2 percent of reported cases were children who got critically ill, according to the World Health Organization. China has reported no case of a young child dying of covid-19. The current estimated mortality rate is only 0.4 percent in 40-somethings, and 0.2 percent in people aged 10 to 39. In comparison, the flu virus is 0.8 percent in 0-4 year olds, and 0.6% in people 4 to 17, 7.2 percent in people 18-49, and 16.6 percent in people aged 50-64, according to the CDC.
A low case count among kids is a good thing, according to health experts, because as we all very well know, children are less likely to wash their hands, cover their mouths, and refrain from touching others — behaviors that, of course, spread germs.
That said, we want to protect our at-risk populations here in Chicago! We are teaching our littles to be extra good citizens that practice impeccable hygiene! I am attaching a very easy vinegar spray (for general cleaning!) that we use at the space, and our bleach solution(approved by the EPA as a disinfectant) so that you can practice good habits at home! The yellow spray is Lysol Multi-Surface Cleaner (also on the EPA list). Beyond washing our hands, here are some additional practices that we will be implementing to go the extra mile here at Le Village:
When you come in the door from being outside, use that hand sanitizer. Don’t be scared. We have several commercial bottles here, and I bulk-bought ingredients to make our very own hand sanitizer in-house once those go. Use this recipe to make your own at home.
We will be implementing a toy rotation every hour where half our toys are retired to be bleach sprayed and then changed out. So if you see them in the plastic buckets—don’t use!
BONUS: We clean surfaces like crazy at Le Village, but it can’t be done too much! If you are independently playing, grab our easily accessible cleaner and wipe down what you and your little have been using before heading out or before another little gets their hands on it. Place used toys in the bleach bucket. Before you leave your spot in the office at the end of the day, give it a wipe down. Support each other! If you’re kid-free and can lean—go ahead and give it a clean! ;)
Fecal matter is a carrier, so make sure before and after you change your little one that you use the wipes to clean the changing table and then wipe the sink.
Until further notice, all shoes must be removed at the door—which most of us do anyway! That said, it doesn’t do us much good if we are rolling our strollers through the space. If at all possible, baby-wear your kiddo in and leave the stroller at home. If you need to, stop out front and drop your baby(s) with some clean and willing extra hands that can bring them to care, and then park and walk. If you must bring the stroller in, we will leave our diluted bleach spray at the door. Spray your wheels thoroughly and let them dry before parking in the space.
If we are out of cleaner somewhere, let us know! If we are out of individual use towels let us know!
We’ve removed single-use towels for now (sorry Mother Nature).
More than ever—if you are sick, stay home. I know that some of us want to straight up quarantine ourselves and, friend, I get it. We will be here when you are ready to come on back. That said, we cannot place memberships on hold in order for Le Village to remain viable. We hope you’ll continue to invest in our small community for the long term!
Infection control starts at home. You can reference the CDC’s best practices here against COVID-19. We are following each of these guidelines and will be regularly monitoring it for changes.
I am by no means an expert in this evolving situation, but I wanted to provide and update our families on how we are working to prevent germs here. If you have any other suggestions or thoughts, I would love to hear them. As always, I am here for any questions or concerns. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or just, ya know, walk over or holler. I am always here for you and your family.
Yours in good health!