COVID & DAYCARES
The CDC shared new data on COVID cases in childcare facilities in Rhode Island.
The Major Takeaways
Why It Matters
- Rhode Island allowed hundreds of its childcare centers to open in June & July with new COVID-19 policies.
- Policies incl. reduced capacity, frequent cleaning, universal *adult* mask-wearing and symptom screenings.
- The CDC released a report on what happened and hosted a briefing with researchers and reporters. SmartHER News participated in the media briefing as well.
Here’s The Data
- 666 of 891 (75%) daycare programs reopened in Rhode Island, with capacity for 18,945 children.
- 101 *probable* cases of COVID emerged by July 31st of kids/staff; about half of those cases officially tested or diagnosed as positive.
- Secondary transmission (one case spreading to many others) was limited.
- Bottom Line: Cases emerged but spread was contained.
Something To Consider
- Of 666 daycares, 29 had COVID-19 incidents by end of July.
- Of the 29, 20 had one case & no further transmission within daycare, five had 2-5 cases; four had 2+ cases w/secondary transmission unable to be ruled out.
- While we know the number of daycare facilities & their capacities, we don’t know how many children/staff were actually in attendance to give the number of cases appropriate context.
One Case Featured
A sick 2-year-old attended childcare 3 days before COVID-19 symptoms emerged & 3 days immediately after the symptoms ended.
10 of the 11 child care contacts in the same class were tested for COVID-19.
No additional students tested positive for the virus.
“…what we’re asking the American public to do is to bring this virus to its knees…It’s in our grasp. But it is going to require all of us to embrace these mitigation steps. And we are going to need to do that for 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 weeks and then we will see this outbreak get under control.”
CDC Dir. Robert Redfield believes social mitigation efforts like smaller class size made a difference in limiting spread in Rhode Island daycares.
The study states the prevalence of cases in Rhode Island at the time was “low … relative to other U.S. states.” However, we don’t know what “low” means in this case to understand how this example can apply elsewhere. We reached out to Rhode Island’s Dept of Health and are awaiting a response.
REPORT FROM THE CDC: CLICK HERE
A GOOD OVERVIEW: CLICK HERE
TRANSCRIPT OF MEDIA BRIEFING: CLICK HERE
by Jenna Lee,