COVINGTON — Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order Monday afternoon mandating that all Georgia schools — elementary, secondary and post-secondary — would be closed until March 31 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving many parents scrambling to find child care services that may not be available.

Many businesses, day care centers, restaurants and other services are following President Donald Trump’s recommendation of not gathering in groups larger than 10 people, cutting operation hours or closing their doors temporarily.

Several day care operations in the area have temporarily closed their doors, but others are staying open, at least for the time being. Discovery Point Child Care in Covington and Conyers has temporarily closed its doors, as well as Livingston Academy Daycare and Learning Center in Covington. Mrs. Pam’s Precious Angels in Conyers has suspended all drop-ins for the next three weeks.

Kid’s Haven in Covington, Kiddie Castle in Covington, Peachtree Prep in Conyers and Covington, Childcare Network in Conyers, Kids R’ Kids in Conyers, All About Kids in Conyers, Misty Sue’s Christian Child Care Center in Conyers and Kids R’ Great in Conyers are planning to remain open until further notice.

Many of these centers have stated they are following the Georgia Department of Health guidelines, washing their hands as often as possible and keeping sanitary supplies in stock.

“We are following guidelines from the Georgia Department of Health and the CDC, sanitizing our classrooms daily and washing our hands and our kids’ hands as necessary,” said Tiffany Watkins, director of Childcare Network at 1546 Old McDonough Highway, Conyers. “We are screening children and the parents as they come in, assuring that there are no symptoms of a cold to endanger our kids.”

Watkins said she hasn’t seen an increase of kids coming in, saying that her after-school instructor can accept a maximum of 25 but currently has seven.

The Covington YMCA and all other metro Atlanta YMCA locations have also closed their doors, but they are offering child care services to doctors, first responders and other medical staff in the area.

A post on the Covington YMCA Facebook page reads: “We want to make sure first responders in our community don’t have to worry that their children are in a safe place, as they care for a growing number of our loved ones during this difficult time.”

Parents in search of child care services can reach the open entities at their respective contact information:

Kids’ Haven, 770-784-9752,

Kiddie Castle, 770-786-7028

Childcare Network, 770-922-1903,

Kids R’ Kids, 770-929-3355,

Kids R’ Great, 770-786-8585

All About Kids, 770-760-1454,

Misty Sue’s Christian Child Care Center, 770-922-0449,

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Covington native and proud Valdosta State alumna, Hunter has previously worked with The Covington News and Valdosta Daily Times. She started working for Rockdale/Newton Citizen in June 2018.

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