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Workers return to Miami day care following deaths of 2 boys

'We're in the dark, just like you're in the dark,' employee says

MIAMI – Workers showed up throughout Friday morning to a Miami day care that voluntarily closed this week following the deaths of two young boys.

"We're in the dark, just like you're in the dark," a maintenance man, who did not want to be identified, said. 

The man told Local 10 News that he works for the YWCA Carol Glassman Donaldson Child Care Center at 112 NW Third St. in Miami, and was there Friday looking for a tool to fix a sink inside the facility.

The man said he didn't know the families of the 22-month-old boy who died of meningitis on Dec. 3 or the 2-year-old boy who died of unknown causes about a week later.

"It's sad. It's just sad," he said. 

The parents of the 22-month-old boy, Connor Mincey, spoke to reporters Thursday at a news conference.

"It's a pain I never knew before," Donald Mincey, the boy's father, said.  

The Minceys said Connor died Dec. 3 after being diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis.

The Minceys said the meningitis festered unchecked although their son had been taken to a doctor's office and given a note saying that he was OK to return to day care.

"I think if that doctor didn't send my child home with that fever, my child would be with me today," Doreen Mincey, the boy's mother, said.  

The doctor's note from Nov. 21 cleared Connor to go back to day care.

Within a week, though, he was admitted to Nicklaus Children's Hospital.

"Antibiotics should have been able and would have been able to treat the condition that Connor had," attorney Judd Rosen said. 
 
The Florida Department of Children and Families conducted what it calls a routine inspection of Connor's day care three days after he was hospitalized.

Inspectors found the facility "noncompliant" in a number of areas, including by not having a quarantine area for sick children.
  
Conner died at the hospital two days after the inspection.

In the days that followed, a letter from the Florida Department of Health notified parents about the meningitis case.

"The worst insult to us (is) they love Connor so much and not one of those people from the day care called and expressed their condolences," Donald Mincey said. 

A second child died a few days after the letter was sent to parents.

That child's cause of death has not been released. 

Local 10 News reporter Layron Livingston asked a DCF representative whether the day care would have been forced to close down, although administrators voluntarily closed after the second death.

The representative said the department can order a day care shut through an emergency suspension, by revoking its license or by injunction. The violations at the Miami day care, however, were considered Class 3 violations, posing low risk to children, the representative said.  


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