TEXAS, USA — As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread rapidly across Texas, child care centers are also seeing an increase in cases, according to state data.
Every day, Texas Health and Human Services reports the number of new COVID-19 cases for both children and employees in child care. This includes licensed child care centers, school-age programs, before-school programs and after-school programs.
Child care providers are required by state administrative rule to self-report positive COVID-19 cases.
When looking at the number of daily cases for both children and employees combined, the state's first spike happened in late October.
The first day the state reported more than 100 cases happened on Nov. 9, when there were 156 new cases, shown on the graph below.
This rise extended into January, when child care facilities saw the most number of cases since the pandemic began. From Jan. 4 through Feb. 2, the state reported more than 100 daily cases every day. The daily record-high happened on Jan. 19 when there were 257 new cases.
After this stretch, the numbers quickly dropped and remained low.
From Feb. 9 through July 27, Texas child care never had more than 100 reported daily cases. And in May and June, state child care facilities averaged eight new cases a day.
However, in 10 of the past 11 days cases have been reported for Texas child care facilities, there have been more than 100 new daily cases for children and employees combined.
These are the state's definitions of the different child care facilities that report cases:
- Licensed Child Care Center - provides care and supervision to seven or more children age 13 or younger at a location other than the caregiver's home.
- School-Age Program - provides care and supervision, including the supervision of recreation or skills instruction or training, to children attending pre-kindergarten through sixth grade before and/or after the customary school day, during school holidays, and during the summer period or any other time when school is not in session.
- Before or After-school Program - provides care and supervision, including the supervision of recreation or skills instruction or training, to children attending pre-kindergarten through sixth grade before and/or after the customary school day and during school holidays.