The Child Development Center at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, serves children ages six weeks through pre-kindergarten, according to its website.

The Child Development Center at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, serves children ages six weeks through pre-kindergarten, according to its website. (U.S. Navy)

Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See other free reports here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription.

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A child-care center at Yokosuka was closed for two days and a second-grade classroom on Okinawa suspended for a day after both were exposed to individuals with the coronavirus.

The Duncan Street Child Development Center at Yokosuka Naval Base was closed Tuesday and Wednesday for “deep cleaning” after two employees tested positive Monday for COVID-19, the respiratory disease associated with the coronavirus, base commander Capt. Rich Jarrett said in a statement.

One child-care worker was at the center the day the test was administered, according to the statement Monday on Facebook. Health officials have communicated with all close contacts, he said.

The other employee was not at work when the positive results were received but had close contact with five other center employees on Thursday.

The center was closed while all staff are tested for the coronavirus and the building is cleaned, according to the statement.

All children and staff in two classrooms were sent home Monday after the results were received to “await further instructions by medical personnel after contact tracing has been completed.”

Anyone deemed a close contact will be tested by Naval Hospital Yokosuka and required to quarantine at home for at least 14 days, Jarrett wrote.

He said that “children have not generally been reported to develop severe symptoms if infected” with the coronavirus, “but they can transmit it to others.”

Yokosuka parents of children with symptoms including fever, sore throat, cough, muscle aches or fatigue should contact the base hospital’s flu clinic at 243-5505 or 243-5363, Jarrett said.

On Okinawa, a second-grade classroom at Bob Hope Primary School at Kadena Air Base was closed Tuesday as a coronavirus precaution, Principal Lorri Vallone wrote in a message to parents and staff on Monday.

A “member of our … school family who had tested positive for COVID-19” was in the building Monday before being cleared by public health authorities, Vallone wrote.

The school is working with public health officials as they trace the individual’s contacts, according to the message.

“If public health officials do not contact you, your student has not been deemed to be a close contact,” Vallone said in the message.

The teacher in the affected class is not teaching on Tuesday, and the school is not providing remote instruction, Vallone wrote. She said further guidance will be given to students and parents “when it becomes available.”

Parents of children on Okinawa who develop COVID-19 symptoms should contact the COVID Care Line at 646-9691, according to Vallone. Twitter: @CaitlinDoornbos

author picture
Caitlin Doornbos covers the Pentagon for Stars and Stripes after covering the Navy’s 7th Fleet as Stripes’ Indo-Pacific correspondent at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. Previously, she worked as a crime reporter in Lawrence, Kan., and Orlando, Fla., where she was part of the Orlando Sentinel team that placed as finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. Caitlin has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Kansas and master’s degree in defense and strategic studies from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up