Coronavirus prompts Massachusetts to open hundreds of day care sites for essential workers

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Massachusetts officials announced over the weekend that hundreds of day care sites will open to accommodate those who are forced to work during the coronavirus pandemic.

The more than 300 day care sites opened on Monday, the Associated Press reported. More sites are expected to open at a later date.

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“We know that child care is an especially critical piece of emergency service, and that it allows our front-line workers to continue their battle against COVID-19,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said at a news conference, according to the Associated Press.

The child care facilities will help accommodate health care workers, essential state and human service workers, COVID-19 health workers, grocery store employees, emergency response personnel, law enforcement and beyond.

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However, the sites should only be used as a “last resort,” Baker said, as isolation tactics are imperative in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

“To slow the spread of the coronavirus, all families should keep children out of group care settings to the greatest extent possible. Emergency Child Care Programs are for when all other non-group-care settings have been exhausted and families have no other options,” reads a statement on the approved list of exempt emergency child care programs in the state.