‘We need to be thoughtful, respectful and not be fearful as we go through this.’

Robin’s Nest Learning Center of Carterville notifies public of possible teacher COVID-19 case

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#updated, July 29 – Robin Moore notified Carterville Now that the employee in question tested negative for COVID-19.

Robin Moore, owner of Robin’s Nest Learning Center of Carterville, notified the public Saturday morning on Facebook that the center may have a possible COVID-19 case of a teacher who was exhibiting symptoms. The teacher initially tested positive with a rapid test, but according to Moore, the health department recommended getting a standard test as the rapid test results are being deemed unreliable.

“I have chosen to keep her out (from work) until test results are confirmed,” Moore said in a post on her business Facebook page.

Moore operates three Robin’s Nest locations in Carterville, Marion and Carbondale.

According to Moore, her Carbondale location had six confirmed COVID-19 cases among parents of students. “We’ve not had any cases of children or the teachers (testing positive),” Moore told Carterville Now. “Of the six cases (in Carbondale), not one of the parents showed any symptoms.”

Moore said she has been very transparent with staff and parents of enrolled students throughout the pandemic. “I told them we are going to get a case; it’s a matter of time,” Moore said.

According to Moore, the Robin’s Nest Learning Center of Carterville currently has 205 enrolled students and 56 employees. Moore said classrooms are being limited to 15 students apiece and that students and teachers are not being required to wear masks despite current guidance from the Department of Children and Family Services, which licenses daycare centers throughout the state, that students over the age of two and providers wear masks.

When asked what advice she would give to other businesses that may end up with employee or customer COVID cases, Moore replied that businesses need to “educate their staff about the choices they are making on the weekends because they can directly affect our businesses.”

Rainbow’s End Child Development Center at SIUC announced last week they were closing for 10 days after a positive COVID case. Moore said she is not planning to shut her daycare locations down, as the primary population of her schools are the children of essential workers. She said she also spoke to her parents and staff about keeping the doors open. “It’s a tough decision as a business owner. I know my families stand behind me,” Moore said.

Moore said she has had threats from the public about staying open during the pandemic. “It’s been awful. They told me I was going to go to hell for killing thousands of people,” Moore said. “I just think we need to be thoughtful, respectful and not be fearful as we go through this.”

Carterville Mayor Brad Robinson said that when it comes to businesses notifying the public of cases, “Honesty is the best policy. They (businesses) should let people know.”

Robinson says the city has no plans of establishing a city ordinance mandating the use of masks at this time, nor using the Carterville Police Department to enforce said mandates.