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3 Atlantic County Head Start centers close after 2 staff test positive for COVID-19
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3 Atlantic County Head Start centers close after 2 staff test positive for COVID-19

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Gateway Head Start in Atlantic City

The new center will be home to about 300 children in the Early Head Start and Head Start programs starting in July.

Gateway Community Action Partnership’s Head Start program has closed three Atlantic County centers after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

The three centers, in Atlantic City, Linwood and Egg Harbor Township, will remain closed for in-person services until Oct. 13 or 14 for deep cleaning and sanitizing, Michael J. Cudemo, vice president/planning for Gateway Community Action Partnership, said in a statement.

Head Start Vice President Bonnie Eggenburg notified parents Wednesday that two staff members from the Atlantic City center had tested positive for the coronavirus, said Cudemo, whose company is based in Bridgeton.

None of the staff has been in contact with Head Start children or their parents, as they indirectly support classroom services. Linwood and Egg Harbor Township have not been open for in-person classes, Cudemo said.

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Eggenburg’s letter to Head Start parents explained that based on contact tracing, the affected staff members appear to have contracted COVID-19 from close social interactions and not at work.

Gateway Head Start is working with the Atlantic County Health Department to perform cleaning and sanitizing while the centers are closed, Cudemo said.

While the centers are closed, Eggenburg said virtual and other support services to families will continue.

Gateway President and CEO Albert B. Kelly noted Head Start will review and revise as necessary its health and safety procedures.

Eggenburg said no Head Start children have tested positive for COVID-19. Affected staff will return to work only after they are cleared by the county Health Department and Gateway’s Human Resources Department, Cudemo said.

Contact: 609-272-7202

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