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Louisville daycare adjusts to mask mandate for young children

Desarea Thompson ties loops in masks to fit thei kids' faces.
Desarea Thompson ties loops in masks to fit thei kids' faces.(Olivia Russell- WAVE 3)
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 7:04 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Gov. Andy Beshear rolled out a mask mandate for children 2 and older on Tuesday, requiring daycares to adjust in less than 24 hours.

As the assistant director of Lil’ Genius Child Care Center, Desarea Thompson said she had two options to get creative and comply with the mandate.

“Children are very resilient,” Thompson said. “I think that people often underestimate children and their ability to adapt to change.”

She said the kids at Lil’ Genius will get disposable masks so they can draw on them and wear their artwork.

Thompson said she spends her days sanitizing, teaching kids how to wash their hands and giving breaks outside to take the masks off. Her classroom capacity was cut in half this year, and her staff is vaccinated and masked as well.

Thompson said she’s lucky her center hasn’t seen a single case of COVID-19 yet. She knows how important it is to keep kids healthy so parents can go to work.

“If daycare centers go back on shutdown again, the economy is going to suffer because there’s no one to watch the children,” Thompson said. “Mom can’t work, dad can’t work. So, it’s better this way, we think, to try to keep it open. We want to be here as long as we possibly can during the pandemic.”

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