MASON CITY, Iowa - You would expect the parking lot at Newman Childcare & Preschool to be full of parents stopping by after work to pick up their kids, but on Monday afternoon, it looked more like a ghost town.
While the parking lot was quiet, the phones have been ringing off the hook inside, with concerned parents reaching out with questions.
On a typical day, the facility handles about 190 kids. On Monday, there were only 45.
So far, they are deciding to stay open, but asking parents to try and reach out to friends or family for daycare. One of the reasons they are staying open, is to provide first responders and those in the health care industry a place for their children.
Nicole Rich with Newman Childcare and Preschool and she tells KIMT News 3 they are also restricting some of their higher-risk staff from coming to work, such as those who are pregnant or over the age of 60.
“Upon hearing and meeting with public health and whatnot we have forced them to stay home. We have told them they cannot come back to work until this is cleared up,” said Rich.
Newman is also taking steps to keep the illness at bay, by restricting where visitors can go in the building and checking the temperatures of the staff and children. They are also discontinuing the use of the shared computer used by parents to check-in their children.