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Surge In Coronavirus Cases Seeps Into Child Care Settings

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As coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths reach record levels in Southern California, the consequences are trickling down to child care providers and the families they care for.

A small fraction of the 7,256 licensed child care homes and centers currently open in Los Angeles County have recorded a confirmed case of the virus. There are currently 22 confirmed coronavirus outbreaks — that is, three or more cases at these facilities in the county — more than doubling in recent weeks the total number of cases reported since June. The state agency that licenses child care has counted 1,421 COVID-19 cases in licensed centers and homes statewide since the start of the pandemic.

But the recent increase has providers and parents anxious because even a single confirmed case can close a daycare classroom or family child care home for weeks.

“It’s a ripple effect,” said South L.A. family child care provider Micaela Walker. “Even just with one case that somebody may experience, you got to tell the families, they got to tell their families, they probably have to tell their co-workers and the co-workers have to tell their families. It really just gets bigger and bigger.”

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