Families Update Feed

Below you’ll see the feed of family communication we have sent via email to all families in regards to the Coronavirus outbreak and what it means for our business and your membership.

FAQs

Can I get a refund? Some of you have called to request refunds for tuition. We ask that you kindly wait for when you can decide if you would like to use your credit based on our offerings upon re-opening. You’d be at the head of the line! We appreciate your support during this difficult time.

Is my tuition frozen? Yes all tuitions are frozen until we reopen.

How can I contact FitKids during this time? If you have any questions or would like to contact us, you can email us at Lisa.Bozogan@RiverValleyClub.com.

May 17, 2020

To our dear Staff, Families, Members and Clients,

At the start of the shut-in, we created four distinct news feeds, in an attempt to share our thoughts, as well as information about the activities and remedies we created for each cohort in response to the COVID-19 situation. As we approach reopening, it makes more sense to update everyone all at once, for the methods and the planning are intertwined. Although the most important factors remain out of ours, or indeed anyone’s, control, I will attempt to outline for you our current thinking. All of this will be subject to evolving governmental regulations, which in turn will presumably be written in response to medical best practices.

First some important background you should know. We closed our doors on March 20 and they remain locked today. A tiny, hard-working team has been consulting with: local health officials; child care licensing and accreditation boards/bodies; health club industry partners in New Hampshire and nationally; health consultants; state and national guidelines from WHO, CDC, and the NH HHS; and other community partners, to develop a plan of action and reopening checklists for each area of the company. The State of New Hampshire publishes detailed guidelines each time Governor Sununu allows an industry to reopen, eg https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-media/stay-at-home/documents/20200105-barber-hair-salons.pdf for hair salons, which have been allowed to operate since May 11. The guidelines are detailed and helpful, and we will adhere to them.

Many people in our industry believed that the Governor would allow fitness facilities to reopen in NH as early as May 18, but no such announcement has been made. Child care facilities have been allowed to serve the families of essential workers only since the original stay at home order on March 30. Child care in Vermont is opening up as of June 1, and we have reason to believe that NH will follow, although again, no official announcement has been made.

It is with all these considerations in mind that we have come up with the following plan. Please understand that it may change, but we wanted to start somewhere. So here goes.

We plan to open reservations for the Salon and Barber at RVC on May 25, for a limited number of hair appointments only, starting June 1. We are likely to be able to offer a limited number of outdoor activities, such as RVC Tennis, starting June 7. We hope to open a limited number of classrooms at FitKids Childcare as of June 15, and are likely to be able to accommodate those families who recently responded that they need full-time childcare on that date so that they can return to work.

During this entire time, the doors at the River Valley Club will remain locked. Those individuals who have appointments at the Barber or Salon will be admitted one at a time, and undergo health screening, including temperature taking. All staff who enter either the Club or FitKids buildings will also undergo the health screen, as will the children. The few people who enter the Club now have been using this screen for the past few weeks.

The number of people allowed indoors is severely limited, and will probably remain limited as mandated by the Governor, for quite some time. As we bring back fewer children to FitKids, and fewer members to the Club, we will likewise bring back fewer staff. Our standards will remain high, but we will do more with less, and always in compliance with the mandates. There will be subs in the classrooms, and supervision of activities in the Club. We’ll adapt as necessary, and as our community needs, but in a sane and thoughtful fashion.

In fact, there will be many, many changes to how we operate. As always, your health is paramount, as is that of our staff, and by extension our entire community. Some of the changes are obvious, and we will all have new responsibilities, such as wearing face masks and maintaining social distance. Some changes will be less obvious, such as new sanitation machines, procedures and products, and their more frequent use, plus additional changes of the air filters throughout. State guidelines currently exclude parents from entering classrooms. And so on. The list of changes is enormous, and guidelines have yet to be formulated for Clubs. We will share a lot of what we learn with you in the coming weeks, and as we reopen, but you can also check it out yourselves on official sites, including: https://www.covidguidance.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt381/files/files/inline-documents/guidance-universal.pdf

As things become more certain, we will continue to share the details with you. Meanwhile we wait.

Please continue to take good care of yourselves. Make the most of our free fitness offerings on FaceBook and Instagram. Check out the FitKids FaceBook page for free storytelling from our fab teachers. For those with serious dedication, come join our exercise classes at RVC Digital. Perhaps you’d like to start distance personal training with one of our world-class fitness professionals, where your first consultation is a free gift from us. Do you miss the pampering at the Salon and Barber? Try here bringing some of it home with you: http://www.spasalonbarberrvc.com/eminence/

Stay active, stay strong, stay healthy, and we’ll see you soon.

Elizabeth

May 17, 2020

Dear FitKids Families,

Elizabeth and I have been working with local health officials, childcare licensing boards/bodies, childcare accreditation bodies, health consultants, and other community partners to develop a plan of action and checklists for each of us, and collectively. With this knowledge, and with information gathered from the family surveys, we are moving towards reopening FitKids in a thoughtful, safe, and pragmatic fashion. Accomplishing this goal means we will be reopening in phases.

Importantly, while it is our hope to begin Phase One on June 15th, we are monitoring Covid-19 data, and will continue to rely on state and local experts regarding the safest plan of action for our reopening.

These are the phases, and how they will impact our families returning to FitKids:

Phase One – June 15th:

On June 15th, we will open the doors of FitKids to approximately 65 children using eight classrooms. The hours of operation, for Phase One, will be 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. We will be operating in eight classrooms, with no more than 10 individuals in a classroom. Our staff, on opening day, will include twelve full-time teachers and two part-time teachers. Tracee and I will be at FitKids to tend to administrative duties and to support teachers in all classrooms.

Prior to opening, twelve teachers will return to FitKids in order to ready the building, and themselves, for reopening. Teachers will be organizing classrooms and importantly, meeting with Tracee and me to discuss all the new Covid-19 protocols that will be in place to keep FitKids the safest preschool environment it can be. (See below for a few of these new protocols.)

Phase Two – July 1

We will be opening two dedicated infant rooms. Center-wide, the hours of operation will remain 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

There will be eight infants per classroom, and we will be asking four additional teachers to return to work in these rooms. These four teachers will be called in to receive training on the new Covid-19 classroom protocols prior to July 1.

Phase Three – July 15

We plan to open the last two classrooms – inviting more students and teachers to return. We will keep you advised as to possible changes in our hours of operation. Again, these additional teachers will be called in to receive training on the new Covid-19 classroom protocols prior to July 15.

Please understand that until state-imposed regulations, that strictly limit our class sizes are lifted, enrollment must be reduced. Further, in the initial stages of reopening, we have no choice but to be flexible. Children and teachers are likely to be working and playing in different classrooms as we move through the phases of reopening. Teachers might need to move to different classrooms to work and play with a new group of children.

These are challenging times, and there is a lot to learn and absorb, but I have no doubt that our wonderful families, and gifted, dedicated staff are going to work together and make this happen.

Soon, families we can accommodate during Phase One will be contacted. As we move through the various phases, additional families will be contacted. When class size restrictions are lifted, we will be able to operate at full capacity once again. Please note that currently, we are accepting full-time enrollment only. This is a CDC recommendation that is in place to ensure that the fewest number of children are gathering in any classroom each week.

Please know that as of Sunday, May 17, I will be placed on furlough – returning to FitKids on Monday, June 8. During my absence, my emails will be directed to Elizabeth Asch, who will be able to respond to your questions or concerns: lisa.bozogan@rivervalleyclub.com.

Everyone at FitKids wishes you the very best. We all look forward to seeing you again soon.

Sincerely,

Lisa

FitKids Covid-19 Protocols – Examples of What to Expect:

· Temperature screening of children prior to entering the classroom;

· At the door drop-off –only children and teachers enter the classroom;

· Teachers will be wearing masks. No state guidance at this time about children over the age of two wearing masks. Children two and under will not wear masks;

· Parents provide snack and lunch. More information about specific lunch containers forthcoming.

· Ramped up disinfecting procedures throughout the day and professional sanitizing of all classrooms each night.

We are working with state and local officials daily, to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information about best practices during Covid-19. We will keep families informed every step of the way and always welcome your input.

May 9, 2020

Dear friends,

Birdsong and budding trees overpower the continued freezing temperatures. Is this a metaphor for our current situation or simply another change of season in northern New England? We don’t know the answer to that, but we gratefully acknowledge that spring will be here soon.

We are discussing when and how to reopen FitKids Childcare, and what is the best way to welcome your children back to our center. Please rest assured that we will be working with Lebanon health officials, New Hampshire child care licensing boards and child care accreditation bodies, as well as other community partners to determine the most appropriate plan and action. While accessing all of these resources, what is paramount to us is how to best preserve the health, safety and wellbeing of our children, our staff, our families and by extension our entire community.

The first step is to learn your wishes about returning. Please fill out the survey (linked below), indicating the needs of your family. SURVEY LINK

When we do re-open, things will have changed. The biggest difference is that at least initially, class size will be smaller, giving your children greater access to, and more attention from, their beloved teachers. The maximum number of people per room, including children and teachers, will be ten.

It’s a bit early to regale you with the many and varied details of the new protocols which will be in place upon reopening but an important change includes the fact that everyone admitted inside, including staff and children, will undergo a health screen each time they come. This will include hands-free temperature taking. Parents will be discouraged from coming inside the building at all.

We don’t regret that we can’t return to the old normal. Even the thought of a new normal seems flat. Instead, we look forward to creating better normal. And we look forward to doing so together with you, and your children.

Thank you for your consideration, and please take good care of yourselves.

Kind regards,
Lisa & Elizabeth

May 3, 2020

Dear friends,

Looking at statistical information here https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/new-hampshire it seems that last week’s prediction is bearing out: The mortality rate from C-19 is high right now in New Hampshire. It struck us as interesting that on Friday, Governor Chris Sununu issued a call to begin re-opening some businesses in two weeks time. Here is his official announcement: https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-media/press-2020/20200501-stay-at-home.htm

The publicly accessible places the Governor suggests we re-open first are mostly outside activities, with a couple of exceptions including, of all things, barber shops and hair salons. Some clients – – some of you, I mean – – have been reaching out to River Valley Club hair stylists, asking to please take care of them, and soon. Chris Sununu suggests May 11 as an opening date.

As you are well aware, we decided in early April not to re-open FitKids because the guidelines provided by the state were untenable, making for an unsafe environment for all. We are currently discussing if Friday’s new guidelines, even if beefed up by our own additional restrictions, would make reopening the Barber and Salon possible at any time soon. As for reopening FitKids or RVC, we await the downturn of the virus, whenever that might be.

The strength of our community has always been dependent upon our biggest asset: Our people. What I am pondering now is how to keep FitKids families and RVC members served, while keeping our precious staff, and everyone in our community, safe. Good solutions are not obvious.

The good news is that there has been a tiny team of non-furloughed staff working mostly from home since we closed on March 20. We have created new, digital programming, sanitized toys and interiors of classrooms, spiffed up the playground, maintained the building and budget, and so much more. The feedback you have given about the Zoom classroom meetings is heartwarming. As always we aim to deliver our absolute best to our community.

Much of our effort has gone to staying in touch with everyone, including families, clients, members and of course our staff. Please keep checking this location for updates. If and when we have more information about reopening, or if we have questions for you about that, we will contact you by email.

Please know you are welcome to reach out to me any time at E.Austin.Asch@gmail.com

Elizabeth

April 22, 2020

Dear friends,

Last we knew, both Vermont Governor Scott and New Hampshire Governor Sununu were discussing the re-opening of non-essential businesses in the coming weeks, perhaps as early as May 4th in New Hampshire. However, this week there was new information from a source even closer which has made a big impact on our decision about re-opening.

Local medical authorities report that although the surge in COVID – 19 cases is expected to be manageable, it will probably peak in a late-May-early-June timeframe. The surge is reported to be less than the worst predictions, because our community has been so good with social distancing, school closures, and non-essential business restrictions.

For this reason, we are no longer considering opening FitKids Childcare and the River Valley Club in May. Our earliest reopening date would be June 1, but we will have to reconsider in a couple of weeks when there is more data on the progress of the virus.

Please bear with us and stay tuned. As soon as spring temperatures assert themselves, we hope to consider some outdoor options.

See you on https://rivervalleyclub.com/digital/, https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheRiverValleyClub/posts/?ref=page_internal
and https://www.instagram.com/rivervalleyclub/?hl=en

Stay healthy and stay in touch.

Elizabeth

April 19, 2020

It has been exactly one month since we closed.

Later this week, we will be sending out four surveys. I expect there will be one for each of the following: FitKids Childcare families, RVC members, FitKids staff, and RVC staff. Although I expect that we have several weeks to plan, our skeleton team would like to know what your hopes and expectations are for the eventual day when we can re-open. Please keep an eye out for the survey!

Please also check out our Instagram and FaceBook pages for free fitness offerings, as well as posts from the Spa & Salon. Digital membership is also available. This week we hope to launch FitKids storytime, to compliment our Zoom classrooms. All of those things, as well as FAQs, or frequently asked questions, are available under the COVID-19 tab on our web sites.

Stay strong, stay healthy, and stay in touch.

<3
Elizabeth

April 13, 2020

Dear FitKids Families,

FitKids Childcare is looking into arranging virtual get-togethers, involving the children and families, and some of our staff. We want your feedback and ideas to learn how we can do this so in the best way possible while bringing some sense of normalcy back to our families. Please take the time to fill out this survey – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6X6P7GB

Best regards,
FitKids Childcare

April 12, 2020

To our community,

More than three weeks have passed since we were able to welcome you to FitKids and the River Valley Club, but it seems much longer than that. We miss you very much, and are hopeful that you and your loved ones are staying healthy by staying home.

Each day the birds sing a joyous dawn chorus. Bears completely ignore social distancing, emerging from hibernation to join deer, chipmunks, bobcats and others, despite the cool temperatures. Nature’s rhythm is reassuring as life has taken a different pace for us human beings.

Members of our community are joining together to work collaboratively and we are happy to be among them. This week I took delivery of many gallons of liquid soap from the Twincraft soap factory in Burlington, which were given as a gift to those providing childcare to the front-line, essential families of the Upper Valley. Delivering it yesterday was a satisfying errand.

There are others in our community who are struggling and in need. While working hard to conserve our resources, we have decided to make modest gifts to some of our local partners even now. Below is a list of the places we will support this month, and a little information about each one.

Happy Spring.

Elizabeth

WISE

For almost 50 years, WISE has supported survivors in times of stress and crisis. Even during these unusual and uncertain times, WISE remains in full support of survivors and their families. Call the crisis line at 866-348-WISE or chat online at wiseuv.org. WISE is available every hour, every day.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital

Gifts to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health COVID-19 Community Relief Fund will be matched dollar for dollar up to a total of $50,000 thanks to the generosity of the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation.

LISTEN

For many people in the Upper Valley who are living paycheck to paycheck, their ability to support themselves and their families is now in serious jeopardy during this national emergency. The virus also poses a significant threat to seniors who need food and other supplies. Today, LISTEN’s immediate focus is two-fold: 1) We are coordinating services for those that come to us for help, and 2) We are ensuring food is available at our pantry in Lebanon and at the community dinner hall in White River Junction.

Upper Valley Haven

The Upper Valley Haven works every day to support people experiencing poverty by providing food, shelter, education, and service coordination. During the COVID-19 crisis, we will continue to support these families and individuals, as well as anyone who may find themselves experiencing situational poverty. We have seen an increase in need and expect that to grow. Your financial support will allow us to provide hope and offer a sense of security in people’s lives during this challenging time.

April 9, 2020

FitKids Childcare is closed for now, but we are as committed as ever to serving our families and the people in the Upper Valley who need childcare.

“Child care is not delivered by a single coordinated system. To help families of essential workers find out what child care is available and determine what might work best for them during this time, Upper Valley Strong on [this past] Wednesday launch[ed] a hotline staffed by employees of the Lebanon-based FitKids Childcare.” Read the full article in the Valley NewsHERE

From Mondays through Saturdays we are maintaining a telephone hotline, speaking with the families of essential workers who need childcare in order to perform their front line jobs. When people call, we can refer them to childcare providers, whether that be in-home care or at one of the centers that are still in operation. For those needing assistance to pay for childcare, we can refer them to the financial resources available in either New Hampshire or Vermont.

If you are a family of an essential worker classified by your state in need of childcare, or if you know someone who is, please reach out. We are here to help you find what you need.

Email us at OperationUVChildcare@Gmail.com or call us at (603)643-8650. We are here for you and your children.

April 2, 2020

Dear FitKids Families,

If you are looking for at-home childcare for your children during this time, there is a listing of available practitioners from which you may choose. In the State of New Hampshire, Child Care Aware has set up an online repository where people, including many of our FitKids teachers, have signed up as someone who can provide care.

The link below will take you to the online listings:

Individuals Available to Provide Child Care During COVID-19 Emergency

For more information:

COVID-19 Alternative Child Care Options: Child Care Match

Our friends at Dartmouth-Hitchcock will be encouraging their families to seek help here as well. We advise you to act quickly.

In other news, we are cleaning out the refrigerators at FitKids. If you have breastmilk in the freezers and would like to have it back, please write to Elizabeth at e.austin.asch@gmail.com

Thank you!

April 2, 2020

(The below note was sent to FitKids staff today)

Hi Teachers,

Many parents are thinking about you and want to let you know we care about each of you. One way we are hoping to support you in this crazy time is with any financial assistance you need right now as we await the federal stimulus packages’ arrival in mid-April.

Please email Renee Sullivan (reneesullivan1@gmail.com) or Joe Sullivan (jtsullivan84@gmail.com) directly by Sunday April 5th at 12 NOON to let us know if you feel you need financial support from your FitKid families. They are coordinating a larger effort with many families.

This is not a loan; it is a gift and should not impact unemployment benefits. There is no catch. You mean so much to us. We want to do what we can to help out in this difficult time right now as we await stimulus funds.

We hope to hear from you,

Your FitKid Families

April 1, 2020

Dear FitKids Families,

Abiding by the Covid-19 Health and Safety Guidelines (see here) for NH Child Care Programs is not feasible in any preschool or group childcare setting. For this reason, we have made the difficult decision to remain closed until this outbreak is contained. After thoroughly evaluating national and statewide recommendations, we believe this decision supports the safety of our families, teachers, and community.

According to the NH DHHS, during health screening upon entry, one expectation is to “ask about any close contact with someone who is confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 in the prior 14 days.” If the answer is “Yes,” the child would have to be turned away. Given that the families seeking care now are all first responders, they by definition will be coming from households where there has been exposure. It’s a high-risk group.

The NH DHHS also asks that we maintain social distancing and minimize the time children are in close contact with others. The prospect of “incorporate[ing] social distancing within groups to the degree possible, aiming for at least three to six feet between children and minimizing the amount of time children are in close contact with each other,” is unachievable in a group childcare setting.

These and other details in the March 27 guidelines make it clear to us that safely caring for even a small group of children in one classroom is not possible right now. “Do the best you can,” is not a motivating goal for us at FitKids and it never has been.

While we realize that our decision to temporarily close FitKids Childcare Center is saddening and also frustrating, we also recognize that we are likely still in the earlier stages of this pandemic, and our top priority is to keep our families, teachers and community safe.

Today at FitKids, we have shifted our focus from care in facilities like ours to a decentralized model of care for the families on the coronavirus front line. Speaking for FitKids alone, we have 36 childcare professionals out on furlough. These individuals live in communities spread across New Hampshire. Rather than gathering eight children in a classroom with two teachers, for a total of ten people (and the germs found in each of those ten households), we recommend that children stay in their home communities and benefit from the hundreds of currently underemployed teachers living nearby. If child care workers and elementary school teachers spread out and take care of two or three children, and from the same household whenever possible, we will all be much safer. But especially those children, their families, their front line parent(s), and the good folk taking care of them will be much, much safer.

In hopes of connecting our FitKids families with in-home childcare providers, some of whom might be our own FitKids teachers, we are joining with childcare agencies across the State of New Hampshire as they work to establish a childcare networking system. We encourage you to reach out to your state representative to say you support this initiative, at https://www.governor.nh.gov/contact/index.htm

We will keep you apprised.

Thank you for your help and understanding as we work together to keep our families and communities safe during these unprecedented times.

Stay healthy, stay strong, and we’ll see you soon.

Kind regards,
Lisa Bozogan
Elizabeth Asch

March 27, 2020

Dear FitKids Families,

Over the past few days, we have been working on a plan to open FitKids, on a limited basis, to serve currently enrolled children whose families serve in the field of Health Care and Public Health.

If you are serving in this capacity, and need childcare, please let me know so we can plan accordingly. I am available at Lisa.Bozogan@RiverValleyClub.com.

After this situation passes, please know that all currently enrolled children will be back to FitKids – in their same, familiar classrooms – with their wonderful teachers (who miss them very much). We all look forward to that day more than words can express.

For detailed information about how FitKids will implement this new, temporary childcare for our essential healthcare professionals, see the attached (below) letter from Elizabeth.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Lisa

Dear FitKids Families,

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate how to best serve the needs of your family and those of our community. Nobody and nothing could have prepared us for the events we are experiencing now, and especially for the pace at which things continue to transpire.

We are deeply touched by your desire to help support our teachers in this time of need. Please do reach out to us to coordinate, as some of your actions may have negative consequences upon the ability of these teachers to access the public funds that are available to them now. Our human resources manager Ericka Gray can be reached at Ericka.Gray@RiverValleyClub.com and she will gladly help you navigate these waters.

In the next few days, we will activate a process to re-open an extremely pared-down version of FitKids. This program is one we have designed together with our partners across Route 120 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. We are certain you will understand that this service will be available only to the families who provide essential medical services to our community, including doctors, medical professionals, first responders and support staff. We will offer this first to those qualified families whose children are already enrolled at FitKids and then if there are remaining spots, to those families from D-HH. These will be temporarily available during this critical period, after which time your child’s spot will again be available to you.

Paramount on our priority list is the safety of our children, and alongside that is the safety of our teachers and their support staff. The health screening and disinfecting protocols we use will be identical to the ones used at D-HH and you may visit their website at https://www.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/stories/article/1834 for more information. We have reduced the number of children per room to comply with the national standard of a maximum of 10 people per room, including teachers. The design of our facility is advantageous since there are no public hallways or stairways where social distancing becomes difficult; all twelve classrooms open directly to the outside on either end of the oblong room.

Our health, disinfecting, and cleaning protocols will match those at D-HH. Before entering the FitKids building, all individuals (including children and adults) will be screened, including having temperatures taken. This screening will take place on the sidewalk. In the event of a health incident, our people will be treated using the same standards as D-HH uses for their own employees.

An email will go out shortly to those families who qualify. Alternatively, please feel free to reach out to Lisa.Bozogan@RiverValleyClub.com to tell us about what you need.

We miss you all very much, and look forward to the time when we can return to a more normal way of living.

Meanwhile stay healthy, stay strong, and stay in touch.

Kind regards,
Elizabeth

March 23, 2020

We just received the results from the teacher who was tested for Covid-19 – they were negative!

Tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday, March 24, I will head into our classrooms to bag up and label the children’s belongings. I will clear out cubbies and diapering supplies, as well as boots and outdoor gear that might be in other areas of the classrooms.

On Wednesday morning, we can begin curbside pick-up, as follows:

Cardinals: 8:00-8:30am
Bluebirds: 8:30-9:00am
Robins: 9:00-9:30am
Bear Cubs: 9:30-10:00am
Raccoons: 10:00-10:30am
Bobcats: 10:30-11:00am
Moose: 11:00-11:30am
Falcons: 11:30am-12:00pm
Porcupines: 12:00-12:30pm
Chipmunks: 12:30 -1:00pm
Eagles: 1:00-1:30pm
Monarchs: 1:30–2:00pm

When you arrive at FitKids, you will find your child’s belongings on the sidewalk, clearly labeled. Practice social distancing by allowing one person at a time to pick up their bag.

In response to a generous outpouring of support for our FitKids teachers, we are researching a way to manage the offers made by families in a way that will benefit all teachers – either now, or upon their return to FitKids Childcare. Please continue to share your ideas.

My very best,
Lisa

March 20, 2020

Effective today, FitKids Childcare is closed. We hope to reopen as soon as possible, but at this point, due to the very uncertain nature of the COVID-19 virus, we have no firm reopen date established.

It is important for the health and well-being of the children and families we serve, our teaching staff, and the community that we take this measure. We will be quarantining the building effective at noon today, and in approximately three days every aspect of our center will be professionally sanitized.

All existing children’s tuition are now frozen at no cost to you.

As you are aware, we have followed all recommendations provided by our state and federal health care officials every step of the way. And it is because of heightened concerns raised in the past 24 hours that we have taken this added precaution. We know it is essential that we work together to slow the transmission of the virus. We can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding other people and continuing to practice good hygiene. A list of steps recommended by the CDC is available at:
https://news.dartmouth.edu/covid-19/key-facts

These are challenging times, indeed, but by our taking this temporary precaution of closing our childcare center, we are protecting the lives of our children, families, neighbors, and friends. Our community is strong and together we can rise to this challenge.

We plan to open the doors of FitKids Childcare soon, and I will keep you posted every step of the way. Please email me at any time with questions or concerns.

My very best,
Lisa

P. S. FitKids Childcare remains open for business.

March 16, 2020

FitKids Childcare and the River Valley Club remain open for business.

Here is some information you may find helpful. In the early days of March, the number of people coming in to work out was up about 150% over the same time last year. Beginning on March 11, our numbers started to decline dramatically. Yesterday the number of check-ins was down by 58%, and today looks to be similar.

This is good news. It means that for those of you who do wish to work out here, the Club is safer than ever. Although we have instituted a cap to the number of participants in a class, even marking the floor with a minimum of 8’ between people, classes are small because most people are staying away.

Your class instructors and personal trainers are working hard to bring you the ability to participate in classes and training sessions remotely. We are experimenting with our first live sessions today and will keep you posted via email, the app, and social media.

Last Friday, I wrote to you about the new cleaning and hygiene measures we are putting in place. Today we added additional protocols such as asking at check-in about symptoms, exposure to infected persons, and travel to hotspot locations. If you are at risk, please stay home. We can’t say that these will be the only restrictions that we may put in place. This is a dynamic situation. Restrictions are likely to become more strict.

Stay healthy, stay strong, and we’ll see you at the Club.

Kind regards,
Elizabeth Asch, Owner

March 2, 2020

It is flu season and we are closely monitoring Coronavirus developments. We at FitKids are taking the necessary precautions to protect children, families and staff from contracting any infectious disease.

Here are five major things we are doing to help protect the children, ourselves, and others:

Teachers and children should not come to FitKids if they are not feeling well.
If teachers or children have a cough, fever, or visible signs of illness, we ask that they take time at home to rest and recover.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
The flu virus can live on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours. Teachers will continue to be mindful to wash before/after prepping and eating food, as well as using the restroom. They will also follow good hand washing practices with the children. Good hand washing practice involves immersing your hands in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Link to proper hand washing: https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/28/health/how-to-wash-hands-coronavirus-trnd/index.html

Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes.
When coughing and sneezing, teachers will cover their mouths and noses with a tissue or their sleeve (not hands), and will teach children to do so. Sneezes and coughs can project germs up to 200 feet. Using hands will further spread germs and viruses.

Teachers will be vigilant in wiping the children’s runny noses and dispose of the tissue properly. Teachers will also alert parents/families if children show signs of respiratory issues, or if other flu-like symptoms develop during the school day. We may ask you to take your children home.

Disinfecting Our Center.
At FitKids, we realize that the flu virus can live on hard surfaces for an entire day! We will continue to work every day, all day, towards killing germs and disinfecting all classroom surfaces, including door knobs, windows, and toys. Disinfectant wipes and sprays are available in every classroom.

Increased Vigilance:
Increased hand washing by teachers and children;
Disinfecting all classroom surfaces more frequently;
Close attention to possible flu like symptoms in teachers and children;
Placing hand washing reminders throughout FitKids.

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak develops, we realize that communication is key. Please join us to ensure the health and safety of our community, children and staff. We will be following and implementing suggestions from locally and federally trusted organizations, and will make decisions that are best for us all.

The following is a message from Lisa Morris, Director, NH Division of Public Health Services, Department of Health and Human Services:

“There have been a number of inquiries from DHHS staff and our external partners regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We continue to monitor those individuals returning to NH from China. As the virus spreads world-wide and in the United States, we do expect to have some NH cases. The NH DHHS Incident Management Team has been meeting since January to plan for and respond to COVID-19. We are in frequent contact with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DHHS leadership, the NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency, our elected officials in Washington, and the Governor’s office.”

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Lisa Bozogan, Ed.D.
Director, FitKids Childcare