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Kid Time closes preschool

The Kid Time Children’s Museum Learning Loft preschool program will close indefinitely due to coronavirus concerns, museum officials said Tuesday.

The decision affects 106 or so children who attend, said Director Sunny Spicer. Kid Time’s main museum, which offers a variety of hands-on activities, closed last week.

“We wanted to keep (the preschool) open, and we polled our parents and there was a decent percentage that still wanted to come,” Spicer said Tuesday. “We deal with kids, and just in talking to a lot health care professionals and watching just what’s been happening, we were getting more concerned.”

“We just decided that we should make that call, which was not a fun call to make,” Spicer added.

The preschool closure caused temporary layoffs for most of the facility’s 30-person staff. The remainder are working from home, and preschool officials have been posting video updates online to stay in touch with families, Spicer said.

“We’re shifting right now to make sure we hold things together and have something for people to come back to,” Spicer said. “That’s the priority now.”

On Monday, Gov. Kate Brown expanded social distancing measures, including the “cancellation of all events and gatherings larger than 25 people — exempting essential locations like workplaces, grocery stores, pharmacies and retail stores.”

Restaurant and bar dine-in facilities have closed, but takeout and delivery services remain active.

Brown has also urged Oregonians to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more, and instituted a two-week closure on all K-12 schools statewide. The state of Washington recently announced its K-12 schools would be closed through at least April 24, according to the Associated Press.

“If (Oregon) schools end up reopening April 1, we will prepare for that,” Spicer said in an email. “But given that Oregon is following closely what Washington is doing, we are also preparing to be closed longer.”

Reach web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanPfeil.