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Local preschool closes after 3-year-old tests positive for COVID-19


Kendall Academy Preschool Center, which had a 3-year-old student test positive for COVID-19 on June 12, closed Monday for two weeks because of the increase in new cases in Indian River County.

“The decision to close is because of the recent spike in the numbers of daily new cases this past week,” Kendall Academy Chief Operating Officer Janel Blanco said.

“The numbers have gone up so much that we decided to close the school for two weeks and just do virtual learning,” Blanco said. “Because of the community spread that is occurring, we do not want to place the children of Kendall Academy at risk unnecessarily.”

The 3-year-old boy who tested positive for the virus “is safe at home and self-quarantined,” Blanco said. No other information will be disclosed about the boy to protect the family’s privacy.

“It’s important that the child that tested positive did not enter the school after his temperature was checked,” Blanco said. “Since he had a high temperature, we asked him to go home and then he got tested.”

After the child’s positive result, the 12 other children in his class were instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days and advised to get tested for the virus, Blanco said.

“We told all parents of the school the child tested positive for COVID,” Blanco said. “We made the decision to close on Friday, June 12 and perform an additional deep cleaning and applied CDC-recommended surface protectant.”

The boy’s classroom will remain closed for 14 days, per Health Department instructions, Blanco said.

All staff members at Kendall Academy were tested for COVID-19, Blanco said. None tested positive as of Friday.

The school reopened on Monday, June 15 for a week before closing again for two more weeks due to the spike in cases.

“The Health Department visited the preschool and they were very pleased with the precautions we had been taking thus far,” Blanco said. “So, we’re going to maintain those procedures and precautions because the professionals came in and told us we were doing that right.”

Protective measures Kendall Academy instituted include temperature checks at the door, smaller class sizes, continual disinfecting, frequent handwashing by children and staff, and barring parents and visitors from entering the building.

Staffers sanitize the playground equipment after each usage by a class, Blanco said. The preschool has also asked parents to be extra vigilant in trying to protect their children from COVID-19.

“We do everything we can in the school, but at the end of the day the kids go home,” Blanco said. “We can’t control what’s happening at home.”

Kendall Academy plans to offer virtual classrooms via computer until the preschool reopens for in-person learning on Monday, July 6, Blanco said.

“We will offer virtual learning for ages 2-1/2 year through Pre-K,” Blanco said. “It is essential that virtual learning continue because all of the children are either graduating or progressing to new levels of education.”