HOUSTON - Parents are concerned about COVID-19 in the classrooms, and it doesn’t help that child care centers in Texas are reporting large numbers of positive cases. The problem is parents can’t get that kind of information.
Experts have said children are the least at-risk group when it comes to catching the virus, but Texas’ health agency has reported more than 1,600 confirmed cases so far in child care centers alone. A third were children, and the rest were staff.
There is no public database showing where and how many infections have occurred when it comes to child care centers.
Harris County data shows out of children ages zero to nine, 1,700 of them have caught coronavirus so far in the county, and of those ages 10 to 19, there’ve been 2,900 cases of coronavirus.Health officials say Houston has fared well compared to other cities.
“We have had a couple of outbreaks at some of the childcare centers, but they’ve been very small, and compared to other cities we’ve done quite well, but that’s only because we got ahead of the curve,” said Dr. David Persse, the health authority for Houston Health Department.
He says the City of Houston is doing what it can to assist childcare centers with safety measures.
“A childcare center is not a healthcare facility, so sometimes they struggle getting PPE, and so we’re helping them get the PPE,” said Persse. “They also have turnover of employees. Sometimes their employees become ill unfortunately, and so they get new people that come in, and so we’ve got to make sure that we help them and make sure that their new people are trained.”
Children at Risk president Bob Sanborn says at the end of the day it’s up to parents to do their research and make sure they’re sending their children to the right place.
“You want to make sure that your childcare centers are following state and CDC guidelines,” said Sanborn. “Everything is being wiped down. Staff are wearing masks. Temperatures are being taken. You want an overabundance of caution when it comes to what’s going on with the staff and the children that are sharing space with your child.”