CDC report recommends COVID-19 contact testing at day care facilities

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Testing related to day care facilities is recommended after a study of three day cares showed that coronavirus was transmitted by kids under 10, some without symptoms, to household members, according to a new report released by the Centers of Disease Control on Sept. 11.

The study focused on three facilities in Utah.

The report said since children under 10 transmitted COVID-19 to household members, contact testing at day cares is recommended. Some of those children did not have symptoms.

“Testing of contacts of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in child care settings, including children who might not have symptoms, could improve control of transmission from child care attendees to family members,” the study said. “Having (COVID-19) testing available, timely results, and testing of contacts of persons with COVID-19 in child care settings regardless of symptoms can help prevent transmission.”

Mitigation strategies would also have helped limit the transmission of COVID-19, according to the report.

A CDC graphic on a study of COVI-19 transmission at some day care facilities in Utah.

The report also recommended the use of face masks by staff including children older than two. A child as young as eight months transmitted COVID-19 to both parents, according to the report.

The study was conducted from April 1 through July 10. Thirteen children contracted COVID-19, 12 of those got in day care facilities. In turn, the children transmitted COVID-19 to at least 12 of 46 nonfacility contacts, according to the report.

The report may not be surprising since it acknowledged that “children under 10 have been shown to transmit (COVID-19) in school settings.”

The report said while it was known that children under 10 could transmit COVID-19, there was limited data on transmission from children in day care settings.

Dr. Joshua Clayton, the epidemiologist with the South Dakota Department of Health, said in a Sept. 14 news briefing the DOH follows CDC guidelines on testing. Clayton cited the testing of individuals in households because of close contacts as an example.

Clayton said it can be difficult to determine exposure in day care settings because of the level of contact providers have with children and the level of contact children have with each other.

A study completed by Massachusetts General Hospital released on Aug. 20 said children have a key role in the transmission of COVID-19. They can pass the virus to others, even when they don’t have symptoms.

“Children can carry a high viral load, meaning they are more contagious, regardless of their susceptibility to developing COVID-19 infection,” the Mass General study said.

The study said the findings “carry implications for the reopening of schools, day care centers and other locations with a high density of children and close interaction with teachers and staff members.”

A July 29 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation examines COVID-19 transmission from children.

“Our review of the latest available data indicates that, while children who are infected with COVID-19 are more likely to be asymptomatic and less likely to experience severe disease (though a small subset become quite sick), they are capable of transmitting to both children and adults,” the KFF said.

Yet the Kaiser report pointed out it was still unknown as to the frequency and extent of the transmission of COVID-19 to others. “…there is some evidence for an age gradient in infectiousness, with younger children less likely and older children more likely to transmit at levels similar to adults.,” the report said.

The CDC report comes after pediatric COVID-19 cases increased to 513,415 from Aug. 20 to Sept. 3, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. That is a 16% increase during that time frame.

The AAP said while cases increased in children and youth, “anecdotal reports seem to indicate these cases are coming from outside the school and not widely circulating within the building when everyone is wearing cloth face coverings.”

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