Corona and Childcare: Is it Safe?

Corona and Childcare-922d4e25
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QUEEN CREEK, Ariz.– The chances of contracting the coronavirus from a daycare do not increase for adults, according to a Yale University study released Wednesday.

In the first months of the pandemic, Yale researchers collected data from over 57,000 childcare providers across the U.S. to determine if there is an increased risk of exposure to the coronavirus due to daycares. 

Researchers came to the conclusion that since 0.7% of providers were infected, there is no evidence daycares cause an increase in transmission of COVID-19 to adults, as long as digilant mitigation plans are taking place.

Results of the study came as no surprise to Tammara Haas, owner of Love and Laugh Preschool in Queen Creek. 

“It doesn’t surprise me,” Haas said, “daycares understand that and they know how to keep things disinfected because that’s what they have to do everyday, whether there’s a virus or not.”

Haas explained that her daycare’s cleaning routine did not change much. However, she has implemented more health precautions like only allowing children into the daycare and handwashing upon morning arrival.

“When this first hit there wasn’t a lot of change except …they all had to wash their hands and face when they first came in,” Haas said, “and then on top of that not letting parents into the daycare.”

Similar to Haas, Wee Blessings Preschool owner Patty Zipfel also knows of the cleaning craze of childcare and as a result has seen an improvement in her employees health. 

“If anything it’s been better…We clean a lot! We clean between every rotation of our centers and we are constantly cleaning all the toys,” said Zipfel.

The lead author of the Yale study Walter Gilliam said, “child care programs are uniquely situated … to be incredibly vigilant on health and safety issues.” 

He also noted that daycares differ from schools because they are“ licensed primarily for issues having to [do] with health and safety and, in schools – not really so much.” 

Haas came to a similar conclusion about school cleanliness before covid. She said, “schools don’t disinfect, that’s not what schools do. They have janitors but even at that it’s different.”

According to Harvard Health Publishing unlike adults, most children tend to have little to no symptoms of the virus. However, several studies agree they still carry just as much, or more, of the virus in their systems as adults. Creating concern for childcare providers and concerns that children could rapidly spread the virus. 

Cynthia Kaufmann, who has run a small preschool out of her home for the past 30 years, has experienced these findings first hand. She explained how her elderly husband became infected, passing on the illness to her and her family, including her 2-year-old asthmatic grandson.

“He’s two and a half and he has asthma and so I got really scared, and he had symptoms for a day. He was stuffy and had a fever, just for a day… and I ended up with double pneumonia,” Kaufmann said.

 

Kaufmann later found out that a child in her care did have the symptoms of covid, however that child’s family is not infected. 

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