FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The first state reports of COVID-19 cases connected to individual child care facilities show combined active cases across the largest counties in North Texas are in the single digits.
Total cases in any one facility have been limited to 10 or fewer and cases among employees have been nearly double those among children.
The daily reporting from Texas Health and Human Services comes as school districts continue to consider reopening plans and families debate education options.
The data relies on child care facilities to self-report cases and does not provide information on total enrollment or employment numbers to determine the infection rate.
In Tarrant Count though, Kara Waddell, the President and CEO of Child Care Associations, said she believes the data is accurate locally.
Waddell said the organization, which has provided guidance to county officials on child care issues during the pandemic, has offered free cleaning services to affected facilities and encouraged communication with local and state health authorities when there was a case.
“It’s really hard to say whether something has significantly changed, or whether the general population is beginning to see a little reduction in cases, and is reflecting that in childcare as well,” she said.
State numbers showed just two active cases in Tarrant County on Friday afternoon, both of those in employees from a facility in Arlington.
Dallas had five active cases.
There were none in Denton and Collin counties.
Waddell said the same extra steps taken by the general population, including masks and distancing, were making a difference in child care.
When there was a case, facilities were able to quickly determine the level of mitigation necessary.
“They may just recommend a deep cleaning, or they may close a classroom for a period of time, but not have to necessarily close down the whole facility because we’ve been taking these precautions,” she said.
The data Friday showed there had been 1,134 cases in children across the state. There were 2,214 in employees.