The battle against COVID-19 has been a rollercoaster ride since its emergence in late 2019. While many countries have made significant progress in vaccinating their populations and reducing infection rates, the virus continues to pose challenges, particularly in communal settings like daycare centers. This increase in COVID infections in daycare centers requires all stakeholders to be more vigilant and, unfortunately, revert to increased precautions.
Understanding the Resurgence
As the world gradually returned to a semblance of normalcy in the wake of vaccination campaigns and the easing of restrictions, daycare centers faced a unique set of challenges. Despite the optimism, the highly contagious Delta variant and potentially other variants led to localized outbreaks in various regions, affecting daycare facilities.
Several factors contribute to the resurgence of COVID-19 in daycare settings:
- Vaccine Hesitancy: While vaccines have proven highly effective in reducing severe illness and hospitalizations, vaccine hesitancy remains an issue among some parents and staff. This can create pockets of susceptibility within daycare communities.
- Breakthrough Infections: Even with high vaccination rates, breakthrough infections are possible. This means that vaccinated individuals can still contract and transmit the virus, which increases the risk of outbreaks in daycare centers
- Variants of Concern: New variants of the virus continue to emerge, some of which may be more transmissible or partially resistant to immunity generated by vaccines. These variants can lead to increased transmission among both children and adults.
- Young Children: Children under 6 months of age are not yet eligible for vaccination in Maryland. This leaves a measurable portion of the daycare population vulnerable to infection.
- Reduced Mask Wearing and Social Distancing: As restrictions eased over the last several months, people are less diligent in practicing preventive measures like mask-wearing and social distancing, increasing the risk of transmission in daycare settings.
Mitigating the Risks
To combat the resurgence of COVID-19 in daycare centers, it is crucial to implement comprehensive measures that prioritize the health and safety of children and staff:
- Vaccination: All eligible staff and parents should be vaccinated. This not only protects children but also helps create a safer environment for children who cannot yet receive the vaccine.
- Mask Mandates: Mask mandates should be in place for staff and children, particularly when community transmission rates are high.
- Testing Accessibility: Regular testing should be available for staff and children, especially in areas with a high prevalence of COVID-19 or among individuals who may have been exposed.
- Hygiene Practices: Good hygiene practices are necessary, including handwashing, sanitizing frequently touched surfaces, and practicing respiratory etiquette.
- Isolation and Quarantine: Ensure there are protocols for isolating those who test positive. Usually, most childcare centers follow the DOH or CDC recommendations. However, childcare centers can impose their own restrictions as necessary.
- Communication: Maintain open and transparent communication between yourselves and your childcare provider. Keep informed about the current state of affairs and any changes in policies.
The Elevon has safety protocols in place to help prevent transmission of COVID-19, as well as a defined procedure should our students or staff test positive. It is imperative we all work together to reduce the probability of COVID-19 transmission; we are all working together.
If you have questions about COVID-19, we are happy to discuss your concerns. At The Elevon we will work together to reduce COVID-19 infections. Please feel free to reach out to us at 443.274.2097 or email FrontDesk@TheElevon.com.
This blog is provided for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or legal advice. Please contact your regular medical health professional for additional information.