“Twelve children acquired COVID-19 in child care facilities," the CDC report stated in its findings.
The report followed the cases and found that the 12 children who contracted COVID-19 at the facilities transmitted the virus to at least a dozen of the 46 parents or siblings they came in contact with at home. According to the report, one child was only 8 months old and infected both parents, challenging beliefs that those under 10 years of age are less likely to be transmitters of the virus.
“The infected children exposed at these three facilities had mild to no symptoms. Two of three asymptomatic children likely transmitted SARS-CoV-2 to their parents and possibly to their teachers," the CDC stated. One parent had to be hospitalized, the report said.
The purpose of the study was to gain a better understanding of the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from young children by performing a retrospective review of data collected by contact tracers.
“Detailed contact tracing data show that children can play a role in transmission from child care settings to household contacts,” the study authors stated in the CDC report.
The study pointed out the importance of staying home when a member of the household is symptomatic. It stated how a staff member of one of the child care facilities studied, known as the index case, patient A1, went to work when an individual of the staff member’s household had shown symptoms nine days prior to patient A1 displaying symptoms of a COVID-19 infection. Patient A1 did self-quarantine a day after experiencing symptoms, the report stated, and tested positive a few days later.
“Three days after patient A1’s symptom onset, a second staff member (patient A2) experienced symptoms and had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result one day later," per the report. The facility was subsequently closed down on April 3.
The federal health agency recommended that those who work in child care programs use face masks, especially when children are too young to wear face coverings. The CDC also recommended frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, proper handwashing techniques, and staying home when sick or a member of the household is symptomatic in an effort to reduce novel coronavirus transmission.
Testing individuals, including children who are asymptomatic, who come in contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases in child care settings could help mitigate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from those children to family members, the report said.
"Having SARS-CoV-2 testing available, timely results and testing of contacts of patients in child care settings regardless of symptoms can help prevent transmission and provide a better understanding of the role played by children in transmission," the authors stated in the report.