Bentonville childcare center suspends operations following additional COVID-19 cases

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,349 views 

The Helen R. Walton Children’s Enrichment Center in Bentonville is closing immediately after two more positive cases of COVID-19 were identified among staff.

They are the third and fourth positive cases reported by the childcare center in the past month.

Sunny Lane, director or development at the center, said after consulting with the Arkansas Department of Health and reviewing the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the center’s management team and board of directors decided to close the campus through July 31, the designated 14-day quarantine period, to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

“While the center is closed, the center will undergo a comprehensive deep clean and sanitation of the entire center,” Lane noted in a news release sent Thursday (July 16). “Staff salary continuation will be implemented during this 14-day period, and families will not pay tuition.”

Lane said the childcare center has and will continue to implement strict COVID-19 protocol and procedures. Each day when employees, parents and children enter the center, their temperatures are taken. They are asked a series of questions relating to their physical state and potential exposure to COVID-19.

Lane said the center takes those precautions very seriously and employees extremely rigorous with the protocol. Anyone entering the facility is expected to do the same.

“If we find that any team member or parent is not forthcoming or honest in their response to our protocols and the health screening questions, that will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination from the center,” Lane said.

Earlier this week, the center said it had planned to remain open when a second positive case was identified. That changed when the last two positive cases emerged on Thursday.