JEWISH parents have expressed outrage at imminent plans to create a hotel quarantine site for returned travellers in the same property as a Mascot preschool centre that their children attend.
The AJN understands the decision to convert the Meriton Suites hotel in Coward Street – which shares a location with Montessori Preschool of Sydney – into a quarantine facility is final and will go ahead from July 17, despite concerns from furious parents.
Parents were informed of the decision by email last week, with the preschool stating that there would be increased security around the property and that no one associated with Meriton would be using the childcare centre’s lifts.
But Jewish parent Nina Feldman told The AJN, “I’m hugely concerned about the health risks this will create for young children, given the history of quarantine breaches that we’ve already seen, not to mention the current situation in Sydney.
“There is absolutely no need for a building which includes a busy daycare with young babies (from six weeks) in attendance to be transformed into a quarantine facility, when there are so many other options out there,” Feldman said.
She also slammed the fact “there was no consultation with the daycare owners or parents prior to this happening”.
Fellow Jewish parent Maya Shafer told The AJN she was “extremely stressed and worried for the wellbeing and safety of the children”.
“The chosen building includes balconies looking down at our daycare’s outdoor playground, and a shared underground parking lot. We struggle to see how NSW Health is able to secure zero contact and risk to our children in this situation,” Shafer lamented.
She added, “We’ve been beyond lucky to find such an amazing daycare, with a team that has gone above and beyond to keep a smooth operation in this difficult time. It’s going to be extremely damaging for this small and special business to keep operating with a quarantine hotel next door.”
In a letter to parents this week, Montessori Preschool said it had met with representatives from NSW Health and NSW Police.
Noting the meeting was “somewhat reassuring”, the preschool said, “One of the major concerns put forward by parents was the shared use of the boom gate in the carpark.
“This concern has now been answered, with Meriton agreeing to erect walls enclosing our childcare car parking spots; alleviating the risk of the boom gate and button altogether,” the centre said.
It added that the air conditioning vents that the hotel use “are on a separate system that does not join our residential building”, and that the chance of contracting COVID-19 via the hotel’s balconies was “negligible”.