Friday, September 25, 2020

Some parents deliberately sending coronavirus-infected kids to class, possibly because of a lack of child care

Though many school districts are doing distance learning this fall, some schools (more likely rural ones) are holding in-person classes. As those schools attempt to keep staff and students from spreading the coronavirus, they're running into an unexpected problem: some parents are deliberately sending their coronavirus-infected children to school. 

That's happened several times in suburban Washington and Ozaukee counties in Wisconsin, according to the counties' public health department officer, Kirsten Johnson, Alec Johnson reports for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I think for us, the biggest challenge for us that we’re experiencing right now is people are just being dishonest," Johnson said. "They don’t want their children to be quarantined from school. They don’t want to have to miss work. In doing that, they’re jeopardizing the ability to have school in person and other people’s health."

Part of the problem may be the lack of child care, especially in rural areas where child care is already scarce. And the problem may be getting worse. Researchers warn that nearly half of the nation's child-care centers could shutter because of the pandemic, Kavitha Cardoza reports for NPR

In the 11-county Appalachian region of Ohio, for example, the number of child-care centers has declined by more than 80 percent since 1999, and that was before the pandemic, which is rapidly accelerating closures, Rachel Dissell reports for Eye on Ohio., the nonprofit, nonpartisan partnership between the Ohio Center for Journalism and the nonprofit Fuller Project.

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