Child care programs boasting zero cases of COVID-19 in kids — ready to take on influx of school-aged students

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The Imagination Station in Lancaster has six sites across the region. They’ve been open for the entire pandemic, and officials say they haven’t had a single case of COVID-19 in their children.

The school is expanding its programming to school-aged kids this year to accommodate families who have children on hybrid learning plans.

“I think childcare, in general, is held to a higher standard, than a lot of industries, we have a lot of precautionary measures in place so,” Kelly Kronbeck Imagination Station Lancaster.

Similarly, the YMCA Buffalo Niagara say they haven’t had any kids with COVID-19, but they did have two staff members who tested positive. The Y says they were exposed off-site and no one else tested positive for covid.

“That all goes back to the plan we put in place back in March, really focusing on the CDC guidelines,” said Penny Snell vice president of program quality and innovation YMCA.

Local doctors say the low rate at daycare facilities in the region could be due to are testing and research.

“There’s more studies going on as far as can kids carry it asymptotically and are they big spreaders of the disease or are they not? And, you’ll get conflicting data,” said Kathleen Dyson MD, FAAP, Physician of Orchard Park Pediatrics. “I know a lot of the daycares have some things in place to prevent the spread they are doing some social distancing. I know they are limiting the number of people in the rooms.”

Dyson says one of the challenges is telling the difference between COVID-19 and other illnesses. She says, while cold symptoms are different flu symptoms could cause some confusion.

“That’s going to be the bigger problem because influenza symptoms do overlap even more with COVID-19 than the common cold. So, with influenza you get that achy, you get that fever, you feel run down, which are the things that we talked about with COVID-19, so it’s going to be more difficult to tell,” said Dyson.

“So, I think what we need to stress as physicians and as a community, is get your flu vaccine this year, because if you get your flu vaccine and cut down on the rate of influenza then it will be much less likely to confuse symptoms.”

The Erie County Health Department wasn’t able to provide specific numbers of kids with COVID-19 at local daycare facilities, because they say they don’t disclose that information.

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