Dane Co. childcare center COVID-19 outbreak caused in part by classroom crossover

Coronavirus COVID-19 generic
Coronavirus COVID-19 generic(WRDW)
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 7:04 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Health officials say a COVID-19 outbreak at a Dane County childcare center was in part caused by families with children in different classrooms infecting each other.

Health officials first reported the outbreak on April 5, originally saying 21 children and workers tested positive for the virus, plus 14 family members of students or workers at the daycare had tested positive for COVID-19. On Friday, Public Health Madison & Dane County updates that four more family members of these children or workers have tested positive for the virus.

PHMDC noted that two factors played a major part in the outbreak- classroom crossover and COVID-19 variants.

PHMDC explained that families had multiple children in different classrooms, meaning a person from one classroom was initially infected and then the virus would spread at home to family members in a different classroom. The person would then spread to the classroom that student attended or employee worked in.

Health officials warned that siblings of students who test positive need to stay home until they reach public health criteria for returning. Students can return when they have been fever-free for 24 hours, their other symptoms have improved and it has been at least 10 days since their symptoms started.

PHMDC did say however, the contagious B.1.1.7 variant makes it difficult to catch COVID-19 quickly because this variant spreads more rapidly and easily than the original strain of COVID-19. The CDC recently reported that this variant, first found circulating in the UK, is the most prominent variant currently in the United States.

PHMDC urged families to monitor all symptoms, noting that many of the children’s symptoms were mild. Families also should not assume their child’s symptoms are from a cold or allergies, and health officials emphasized the importance of children getting tested for the virus.

Dane County had previously noted on April 9 that COVID-19 cases in children under the age of 16 had increased significantly over the past month.

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