A recent Yale University study has shown promising results when it comes to the link between child care workers and COVID-19.
From May 22 to June 8, 2020, over 57,000 child care workers were surveyed across all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico asking workers to self-report COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. The study compared child care providers who continued to work during the first three months of the pandemic in comparison to those who stopped. The findings determined a lack of association between infection rates of child care workers whose facilities remained open compared to those whose programs had closed.
Over 90% of participants reported high rates of staff and child handwashing paired with daily disinfecting of indoor surfaces and fixtures, which may be why the infection rates remained so low. “Symptom screening...and social distancing measures were also frequently employed”, states the authors. The study additionally states that child care providers should wear face coverings to protect against potential transmission of COVID-19 from adults to children. “... it is evident that adults are more likely to transmit the virus to children than children are to adults. Due to this likelihood, child care workers should wear face coverings to protect children in child care programs and prevent potential transmission”.
The authors caution that these findings should not be applied to K-12 schools. Child care settings tend to have smaller groups of children who stick together throughout the day, unlike middle and high school classes, and include more staff and students in the building. The study also found that Black, Latino, and Native American people were more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and be hospitalized for it. This indicates that both school policy and social context strongly affect people’s risks related to COVID-19.
At Otter Learning, we value these types of studies to guide our plan to a safer school environment. We want all teachers, staff, students, and parents to feel safe and comfortable in our schools, which is why we have included mitigation efforts in our own safety plan. Some of these efforts include but are not limited to:
smaller classroom sizes
daily temperature checks
wearing cloth or disposable masks
washing and sanitizing hands frequently
sanitation of touched items and surfaces
We encourage all readers to look at the case study and additional resources provided below for further information regarding this topic: