WHERE WILL THE CHILDREN GO?

Child care facilities, local businesses feel the impact of COVID-19

While there has been but one documented case of COVID-19 in Park County, the public notice remains in effect

Park County Public Health

While there has been but one documented case of COVID-19 in Park County, the public notice remains in effect

For the past two weeks or so, residents of Powell, as well as around the country and beyond have had to deal with staying home. Many are not able to work despite having expenses, but all for the good of the people. 

Since COVID-19 was officially declared a national emergency on March 13 by President Donald Trump, and the country has gone into quarantine, public places have shut down. 

As of March 19 Park County Public Health ordered the closing of certain public places for a limited time. This limits the gathering of groups to no larger than 10 and forced restaurants either to close or offer only take-out and delivery.

Healthcare providers/centers, grocery stores and their workers are an exception as they are considered necessary for the benefit of the people. Child care centers are only allowed to accept children of essential personnel, leaving many workers without a job until further notice and only allowing a select few workers to be within the business area. 

“I didn’t expect this, to be honest,” Powell High School alum Millenia Mendoza said. “My bosses tried to keep [the daycare] open for everyone as long as possible, but it ended up being a lot sooner than expected.” 

Mendoza has been working as a daycare provider for almost two years at The Crane Academy in Cody. 

Now is the time for everyone to support local businesses as much as they can.”

— Mycah Wainscott, PHS senior

“At the beginning of the week we had a meeting about COVID-19,” Mendoza said, “on what we should do during the workday to keep the kids and ourselves safe as we were waiting to be told whether we would soon have to close or not.”

Starting the week Mendoza said her boss had split up the schedule so only a few workers came every day, not the full staff of 12.  Later her boss informed them that only a select few will be working until further notice. The workers were advised to file for unemployment because it was uncertain as to when everything would get back to normal.

“It is good that we are staying open for those parents that are essential workers so they have a place for their kids to go,” senior Mycah Wainscott said. “[At the same time] it’s sad that we can’t accept the other kids that have working parents, but aren’t considered essential.” 

Wainscott, who has worked at Imagination Station Preschool for eight months, is still able to work through the pandemic. She says she is thankful to be able to keep working despite the circumstances.

“All of these small and local businesses that have to close, I just hope that they can survive this pandemic,” Wainscott said. “Now is the time for everyone to support local businesses as much as they can.”