300 Kids in Texas Child Care Centers Test Positive for COVID-19

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More than 300 children in child care centers in Texas have tested positive for COVID-19. 

According to the Texas Tribune, as of Tuesday, there were 950 reported positive cases of COVID-19 — 307 children and 643 staff members — at 668 child care locations.

“Providers are required to follow state Minimum Standards to ensure the health and safety of children in care,” Texas Health and Human Services Commission spokesperson Danielle Pestrikoff said in an email to the Texas Tribune. “HHSC has enacted emergency rules and they require operations to implement screening procedures that align with the CDC’s most recent guidance. We continue to advise child care operations to follow the guidance of the CDC and those laid out in Governor Abbott’s Open Texas Checklist.”

According to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, there've been 168,000 cases of COVID-19 cases in Texas with 2,481 deaths. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly advocates that students be physically present in school. 

"The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. Lengthy-time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often result in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation. This, in turn, places children and adolescents at considerable risk of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality. Beyond the educational impact and social impact of school closures, there has been a substantial impact on food security and physical activity for children and families."

But, the AAP also advocates for physical distancing measures and the use of face coverings for children while in school. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that children two years and older should wear "cloth face coverings" when they are "in the community setting" during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CDC released guidelines where it states that face coverings should be made from "simple cloth." When making masks, parents should be using "household items or made at home from common materials."

Dr. Deborah Gilboa, a family physician, told Today that children should wear masks because they are more likely to spread the deadly virus.

"We really want to slow and stop the spread of this, and we're seeing in data from other countries that kids are actively involved, entirely accidentally, in spreading this," Gilboa said.

However, a pediatric hospitalist at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio is urging parents to not allow their babies and children under 2 to wear masks.

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