Coronavirus has ripped through a New York day care center leaving at least sixteen children and parents infected after a mother continued to bring her asymptomatic child in.
Heidi Feathers, who runs the licensed in-home child care center in DeWitt with two other parents, says that the mother was being tested last month.
The mother was tested on a Tuesday but she did not learn the results until the end of the week. Meanwhile she continued bringing her son in who has since been tested and found to also have the virus despite not presenting with any symptoms.
‘I’m so frustrated that she didn’t tell me, and she didn’t stay home,’ Feathers told Syracuse.com. ‘People need to take this seriously, and stay home if they are sick at all.’
Feathers had asked all parents to wear masks and had been taking children’s temperatures when they arrived, as well as giving out hand sanitizer.
Heidi Feathers (right) and her two children, Jaedin, four, (left) and Jordynn, five months, and her husband, Justin. They all became sick after a coronavirus outbreak linked to a child brought to Feather’s day care center in DeWitt, NY
But the virus has infected a total of four families linked to the day care, including her own children, a five-month-old baby girl and a four-year-old boy.
Baby Jordynn was congested, lethargic and had a fever, meanwhile Jaedin suffered from a high temperature and Feathers was extremely anxious about his sore throat because he suffers from respiratory difficulties.
Feathers said she and her husband also became sick, as did her mother who also helps at the day care.
‘It’s very scary,’ she told Syracuse.com. ‘It’s awful having a sick five-month-old and another one with breathing issues who had the virus.’
Feathers said Onondaga County Health Department staff confirmed that they believe the cluster of cases is as a result of the asymptomatic child being brought by the mother who should have quarantined.
Feathers said the mother has since apologised to her but insisted that she believed it was just her allergies flaring up.
Dr. Indu Gupta, Onondaga County’s health commissioner, said in a statement: ‘We must also remember that this virus can be spread from asymptomatic individuals.
‘This responsibility doesn’t fall on a few – it is the job of everyone in order to recover from this as a community.’
Feathers is hoping to reopen on July 20 and is working alongside local health officials to ensure best practices.