Health care systems are making sure workers have child care during coronavirus situation

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Health care systems in Northeast Wisconsin are making sure their employees don't have to worry about who's going to care for their kids while they're at work. A partnership in the Fox Valley that is coming to the aid of those on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis.

WSAW child care

Schools have been closed for more than a week, Governor Evers has issued his safer at home order, as health care workers continue to fight the coronavirus on the front lines.

To help ease the stress of their employees, ThedaCare teamed up with the YMCA and the Boys & Girl Clubs in the Fox Valley to make sure, if need be, children of those health care workers are taken care of. Other providers like Ascension and Aurora are in on the partnership too.

"The most important thing is to make sure that our employees, if they have to be on the front lines, know that we have their back when it comes to providing childcare services. We want to make sure they have access to quality child care services so they can be on the front lines and rest assured that their kids will be safe," says Paula Morgen, ThedaCare Director of Community Improvement.

The YMCA Child Learning Center is one of those safe places. It has remained open to care for children when most similar places have closed down. The Y actually has multiple facilities in the fox cities that are open and could accept children of health care workers.

Dani Englebert is COO for the YMCA of the Fox Cities. She says, "We also serve, already, quite a few of the health care employees in our centers and in our programs, so we wanted to continue to serve them and maybe even expand our service to their employees."

With the number of coronavirus cases, in our area, still fairly low, there hasn't been a surge of health care workers looking for childcare just yet but those who put together this partnership know that those numbers could change at any moment.

According to Paula Morgen, "So far, we haven't had a lot of employees calling because we haven't hit the surge yet, so anticipated in the next couple of weeks in particular that this type of demand for this help is really going to escalate."

And just knowing there's an option available, says Morgen, is helping to give employees peace of mind.
Older people and those with underlying health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease) are considered at high risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People with those conditions should take the proper precautions.

COVID-19 is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

"The virus is found in droplets from the throat and nose. When someone coughs or sneezes, other people near them can breathe in those droplets. The virus can also spread when someone touches an object with the virus on it. If that person touches their mouth, face, or eyes the virus can make them sick," says the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. CLICK HERE for more information on symptoms. Emergency signs include pain and pressure in the chest, confusion and bluish lips or face.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear between two and 14 days after contact with an infected person.

VISIT wbay.com/coronavirus for complete local, national and international coverage of the outbreak.

DHS recommends taking these steps to help stop the spread of the virus:

--Frequent and thorough handwashing with soap and water.
--Covering coughs and sneezes.
--Avoiding touching your face.
--Staying home when sick.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending everyone in the United States avoid large events and mass gatherings for at least eight weeks.

The virus originated in Wuhan, China. The spread started in December 2019.