Kaweah Delta turns fitness facility into childcare center to help employees care for patients
Kaweah Delta turns fitness facility into childcare center to help employees
care for patients
VISALIA – As more daycare centers close their doors, Kaweah Delta
is repurposing its medically-based fitness facility to offer child care
for children of its employees who are caring for the community during COVID-19.
After receiving approval from the State, Kaweah Delta reopened The Lifestyle
Center (TLC) this week to offer Kaweah Delta employees childcare for children
ages 6-14. The Lifestyle Center closed its doors on March 18 in response
to the Governor’s shutdown order.
“This is a challenging time, but we are doing everything we can to
help our employees who are answering the call to care for our community,”
said Dianne Cox, Kaweah Delta’s Vice President of Human Resources.
TLC is open from 5:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, to give
employees, many of whom work as a team to provide care 24 hours a day,
seven days a week, a safe and fun place to leave their children while
they work. To help employees, Kaweah Delta is providing care for $20 a
day per child; the price includes kid-sized masks. Kaweah Delta also operates
Kaweah Kids, a daycare facility for children of employees who are six
weeks to 5 years old. There, Kaweah Delta is also offering reduced rates
to employees who need child care during this time because of recent daycare
and school closures.
Kaweah Delta knew childcare would be an issue for essential staff members,
once schools closed in early March. However, at the time, there were other
local options for childcare, including local churches and camps, Cox said.
After a while, though, even those sources of child care began to close,
either due to low volume or to ensure social distancing.
Thanks to the state anticipating this shortage of child care, requirements
for setting up a daycare facility had been relaxed, Cox said. Other hospitals
had already started doing an employee daycare, so KDHCD surveyed staff
members to see what kind of help they needed, and found that a place for
children 6-14 was needed the most.
Since TLC already had a childcare area that parents can use for an hour
or two while working out, it seemed the ideal place for KDHCD to use for
daycare. TLC Director Patrick Tazio worked to get licensed by the State,
and after an inspection last week, TLC was open for business. TLC staff
now can come back to work and do something to help other hospital employees.
TLC is not serving food as the site is not set up for feeding large groups,
especially those who may have dietary restrictions. Parents are also encouraged
to bring games, books and even electronic devices for their children to
use during their stays. TLC staff check temperatures as kids come in,
to maintain everyone’s health, as well as enforce social distancing,
sanitization and hand-washing rules.
“We do activities in the gym, and make sure they’re not in
contact with each other. They can do stuff independently and have a good
time,” Tazio said.
TLC has only a small number of children taking part so far, but they can
handle up to 40 kids a day. Cox said she hopes more parents will bring
their children in as the word gets out. Right now the plan is to keep
the service going through May, she said.
For more information, call 559-624-3438.
Kaweah Delta shares COVID-19 information and regular updates with the community
on its website at
www.kaweahdelta.org/COVID19 and on its social media accounts.
The Public Health Branch asks community members to follow the governor’s
stay-at-home order to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread
of COVID-19. This, and social distancing when you must go out for essential
services such as grocery shopping, is the best way to avoid COVID-19.
Cloth or other facemasks and coverings may help to reduce COVID-19 transmission
by those who may be infected but are not showing symptoms yet. Even with
the addition of a facemask, community members need to remain six feet
or more away from others when out for essential services.
Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency advises if you think you
have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory
illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, please call your primary
physician or 2-1-1 rather than walking into a medical office or hospital.
Your physician will connect with Tulare County Public Health to determine
if testing is appropriate.