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At Least 17 Children, Staffers From 9 Dallas-Area Daycares Test Positive For Coronavirus

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The rise in COVID-19 cases in Dallas County is especially concerning to some parents of young children.

Dallas County Health and Human Services said Wednesday, at least 17 children and staffers at nine daycares have tested positive recently, with some family members falling ill as well.

While they aren't releasing any more details, a lot of people are asking questions.​

"Did these things occur all in a small geographical area, or is this spread out all over the county?" asked Jennifer Carpenter. "Was the family member diagnosed first, and then the child was diagnosed? There's just so many unknowns."​

Carpenter is the director of the Lena Pope Early Learning Center on Sanguinet Street in Fort Worth.

While they haven't had any cases of COVID-19, she does wonder about the sudden spread in Dallas County.

"I don't know if it was a little blip, a little spike.. it's so hard to know."​

It's also hard to track.

Each county breaks down cases by age, but in different ways.

See the graphic below.

Daycare coronavirus case numbers
(CBS 11)

​And none of the counties regularly identify cases at daycares. ​

The spike in Dallas County comes just days after the state's Health and Human Services Department repealed its emergency rules for childcare providers, eliminating regulations for taking temperatures, drop off and pick up, and meal service.

The state is now referring providers to the Open Texas checklist and CDC recommendations.​

It's a move that surprised Carpenter. "I don't know why that change was made." Still, she believes most daycares will continue to use the protocols already in place. "I would venture to guess that most childcare centers will do what's best for kids," she said. "That's what we always do."​

CBS11 has reached out to HHS to find out more about the timing of the repeal.

Here is their response:

Protecting the health, safety and well-being of people in HHSC-regulated facilities remains our top priority. We recognize the need for flexibility as business owners make decisions that are best for the communities they serve.

To protect children and child care operation employees, and prevent the spread of COVID-19, all regulated child care facilities that choose to remain open should continue to reference the following COVID-19 resources as they make decisions to ensure the health and safety of their staff and the children in care:

Governor Abbott's Open Texas Checklist for Child Care Operations
CDC guidelines for Child Care Programs that Remain Open
DSHS COVID-19 Informational Page
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Local Health Entities

Our team of inspectors is conducting unannounced inspections on-site, as needed.

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