Louisiana Department of Health says there have been 22 COVID-19 outbreaks in day cares since the pandemic started

Louisiana Department of Health says there have been 22 COVID-19 outbreaks in day cares since the pandemic started
(Source: WVUE FOX 8)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) says there have been 22 COVID-19 outbreaks in day cares across the state since the pandemic started. And as more children return to school, it’s likely there will be more exposures.

When considering whether to send your children back, Joseph Kanter, M.D., with the Louisiana Department of Health offers this advice.

"Number 1, do an assessment of your family, what your risk is and how vulnerable the members of your family are, if you live with grandparents, if you have people with serious medical conditions that put them at increased risk, in your setting, the risk to going to daycare is going to be higher," said Kanter.

Also, he says parents should ask day cares about their safety protocols and demand transparency.

“What they plan to do to mitigate the risk of COVID and also how they would respond if they have an exposure, if the answer is not coordinate with the Office of Public Health and do the right thing, choose another daycare,” said Kanter.

Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist, John Schieffelin, M.D., says doctors continue to intermittently see cases of a rare complication of COVID-19 in children called Multi System Inflammatory Syndrome. But, even in those rare cases, he says the vast majority of children recover.

“I think it’s important for people to realize although this Multi System Inflammatory Syndrome is really scary, it is a very,very small proportion of children that get exposed,” said Schieffelin.

He adds there’s also encouraging news about children with asthma.

“The one group that we have been really worried about since this all started has been children with asthma. I can’t say that they’re definitely not at increased risk but so far we haven’t seen a lot of data to suggest that they are,” Schieffelin said.

And as more children return to the classroom, Dr. Kanter says parents should be prepared for disruptions.

"There's going to be exposures, they're going to have to quarantine classes for one or two weeks to mitigate that, families should know that going in, have a plan B," Kanter said.

LDH says while extreme complications in kids are rare, there have been four deaths across the state from COVID-19 in children ages 0 to 18.

We’re told not all of those patients had underlying health conditions and some of the deaths were the result of Multi System Inflammatory Syndrome.

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