Child Development Academy to close through Wednesday due to possible COVID-19 exposures

The Child Development Academy at Marshall University will be closed Monday through Wednesday due to potential COVID-19 exposures.

According to Tracy Smith, director of Environmental Health and Safety at Marshall, the center’s administrators learned an infant enrolled at the center has an immediate family member who was diagnosed with COVID-19 Friday afternoon. The infant, who was last at the center on Wednesday, began exhibiting symptoms this weekend and is presumed positive for the virus.

Smith said center officials also learned this weekend that tests for two additional children at the center are pending. He said his office is working on contact tracing with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department and it is not yet known if any of the potential cases are related.

“We decided to pause services at the center out of an abundance of caution while we sort out these potential exposures,” he said. “The pause also will give us an opportunity to go through disinfection protocols for the entire facility.”

He added that the center is working closely with the health department to determine any risk to other children or employees.

Results of the pending tests are due back no later than Wednesday, and Smith said a decision will be made at that time regarding reopening the center. On advice of the health department, all staff members who had contact with the infant presumed positive for COVID-19 are now quarantined for 14 days.

Notification of parents and employees started earlier this afternoon, and crews will be deep cleaning and sanitizing the facility starting tomorrow.

The academy, located at 520 22nd St. in Huntington, provides care for infants, toddlers and pre-school children.