Dallas County

Child Care Facilities Prep as Dallas County Sees Increase of COVID-19 Cases

"Many of the cases are in the staff as opposed to the kids, but certainly we have quite a few in the kids also," said Dr. Philip Huang, Dallas Co. Health and Human Services Director

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On Wednesday Dallas County health officials said as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, they're also seeing a trend in kids under the age of 12.

"We certainly have cases in some of the daycares, I think probably the last two weeks it hit a peak in some of those numbers," said Dr. Philip Huang, Director of Dallas County Health and Human Services. "Many of the cases are in the staff as opposed to the kids, but certainly we have quite a few in the kids also."

While children over 12 are eligible for vaccines, Huang said this leaves younger kids vulnerable.

"The CDC has updated it's guidance regarding recommendations for even vaccinated persons in these type of settings to wear masks and certainly unvaccinated kids to be wearing the masks, that is something that we support," said Dr. Huang.

He said while they are seeing an increase in cases amongst children, it's currently not as high as other peaks, but Huang said the numbers are going up.

"They're increasing quite dramatically and we don't want to get to that level," said Huang.

Primrose School of Prosper said they had to close school for the week due to a handful of cases amongst staff and children.

In a statement the school said:

"The health and safety of our staff and the children entrusted to our care is our highest priority. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been following guidance from the CDC and local health authorities to implement rigorous cleaning procedures and other measures to help prevent the transmission of illness, including sanitizing the school daily and requiring all adults to wear masks inside of the school.

Upon learning of positive COVID-19 diagnoses at the school, we immediately notified our staff and enrolled families. In addition, we notified state licensing and the health department, who advised that all children and staff who had direct contact with the affected individuals should self-quarantine. Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to close the school for the remainder of the week.

Our thoughts and wishes for a rapid recovery and good health are with the affected children and staff and their families."

Spanish Schoolhouse also had to temporarily close its doors due to some cases.

In a statement the school said:

"Our number one priority is the safety and health of our students, staff and their families. While we cannot comment on the health of minors, we can say we have always exceeded the state Covid19 guidelines."

Child Care Facilities Taking Extra Precautions

Having dealt with COVID-19 protocols for more than a year now, many places are used to the drill of constant cleaning and implementing safety measures to minimize the spread.

At Willow Montessori Academy in Dallas, they've added an extra layer of protection this past week after concerns with the current number of local cases and CDC recommendations.

“We recommend for our staff and children to wear masks. Right now all of our staff are wearing masks indoor, most of our children are wearing masks," said Karla Tavarez, Asst. Director of Willow Montessori Academy.

They've continued to check temperatures, disinfect at least a couple times a day and have added air purifiers.

It's measures parents like Marcus Hagans appreciates.

"I feel like the school and the faculty do a very good job of keeping things clean and keeping the parents informed of everything that’s going on and I feel like that transparency helps with a lot of the anxiety that a lot of the parents may feel," said Hagans.

His 4 year-old-daughter attends the school and he said since his wife is a nurse, they're used to following the recommendations from healthcare providers.

"We figure at the end of the day it's better safe than sorry, so we definitely mask her up every single morning," said Hagans.

Like many places, in the past the school has had someone who had been exposed to the virus which caused them to shut down for at least several days. Child care providers say they've learned a lot over the past year.

“I feel like we’re a little more comfortable in regards to going through it because we have been through it once before so now we know how to handle the situation on how we can speak to the children about it and prevent any sort of spread," Tavarez said.

Texas Health and Human Services said child care providers should continue to refer to the CDC for guidance and can access information from their website.

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