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Texas child care facilities facing record-high number of COVID-19 cases

For the first time since the state started reporting daily cases last August, health officials added more than 300 new COVID-19 cases for both children and employees

The COVID-19 virus is currently hitting Texas child care facilities at a record rate, according to state data.

For the first time since the state started reporting daily cases in August 2020, health officials added more than 300 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday for both children and employees combined in Texas child care facilities.

These facilities have also had more than 100 combined new daily cases every day they have been reported, according to statistics from Texas Health and Human Services.

Every day, the health organization 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.

Credit: Jay Wallis

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, according to state data.

This rise extended into January, when child care facilities saw the most number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. From Jan. 4 through Feb. 2, the state reported more than 100 daily cases every day. 

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The daily record-high, at the time, happened on Jan. 19 when there were 257 new cases. That has since been surpassed twice in the past two weeks.

There were 288 new cases on Aug. 16 and 328 new cases on Tuesday, state data shows.

In 19 of the past 21 days cases have been reported for Texas child care facilities, there have been more than 100 new daily cases for children and employees combined.

When looking at the number of new COVID-19 cases for children specifically in child care facilities, the state reported 100 new daily cases four times from August 2020 through July 2021.

So far in August 2021, there have been 100 new daily cases reported eight times, including the current record-high of 214 that happened on Tuesday.

Credit: Jay Wallis

According to data from the Texas Health and Human Services, the state's child care facilities that most recently reported more than five new daily cases Thursday include:

  • Carpe Diem Private Preschool in Southlake (six children, one employee)
  • The Dreaming Tree Academy in Watauga (four children, one employee)
  • First Baptist Church Gun Barrel City Childcare Center in Gun Barrel City (one child, four employees)

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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.