Children in childcare facilities not only contracted COVID-19, but they spread the virus to other close contacts, including their parents, siblings, and potentially their teachers, CDC researchers found.
In three outbreaks in Utah, 54% of cases linked to childcare facilities occurred in children, and transmission likely occurred from children with confirmed COVID-19 to 25% of their “non-facility contacts,” such as parents and siblings, with one parent hospitalized, reported Cuc Tran, PhD, of the CDC, and colleagues.
Moreover, transmission to adults was confirmed in two of three children with asymptomatic infection, the authors wrote in an early edition of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Ten adults who worked at the childcare facility also contracted the infection, with contact tracing showing they were facility-associated cases, Tran and colleagues noted.
Of the 12 children who acquired the virus in childcare facilities, transmission was documented to at least 12 of 46 non-facility contacts, according to this report.
The role of children in spreading COVID-19 continues to be a hot-button topic as schools reopen around the country, though the authors noted the data about transmission from young children are “limited.”
Earlier studies, notably one on a Georgia summer camp in which the coronavirus appeared to spread easily among children, have not dissuaded some federal officials from insisting it doesn’t occur. Politico reported earlier this week that Paul Alexander, MSc, MHSc, PhD, in the Department of Health and Human Services’ communications office, wrote in a recent email, “There is no data, none, zero, across the entire world, that shows children especially young children, spread this virus to other children, or to adults or to their teachers. None.”