Childcare centers in Southaven deemed essential, to remain open during coronavirus outbreak

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SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — Southaven added daycare facilities to its list of essential businesses allowed to operate during the civil emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

One daycare owner said it’s the right thing to do.

“I don’t take this lightly, staying open,” said Debbie Craig, owner of Busy Bodies, Inc. in Southaven. “I know for a fact that I have a lot of working parents that need the service we have.”

Craig said she’s relieved the mayor and board of aldermen voted to add childcare and daycare facilities to the list of businesses exempted from closing.

Craig said most of the parents of children who attend busy bodies are employed in critically needed jobs.

“We have a lot of people working in retirement homes, in nursing homes, in hospitals,” she said. “We even have some parents that work in animal shelters.”

During an emergency session over the weekend, Southaven’s city leaders decided to allow daycares to stay open is in the best interest of the community during these uncertain times.

“If you close that down or didn’t leave that option open for judgement, then you could potentially affect those we need the most right now to be at work,” Mayor Darren Musselwhite said.

Craig said youngsters at Busy Bodies have been following strict hygiene rules and washing their hands regularly during the day for a precise amount of time — 20 seconds.

“Are we letting strangers in the room or in the building? No,” Craig said. “We’re doing our best to keep you socially distant while we’re still doing homework, while we’re still doing the things you need to do to grow and learn.”

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