The majority of Omaha daycare-related COVID cases have been confirmed as the UK variant
(Omaha, NE) – The Douglas County Health Department strongly encourages anyone who works in childcare to receive the COVID-19 vaccine after an outbreak recently occurred at a childcare facility in Omaha that affects more than half the population Center staff and participants were affected.
Contact tracing investigations have linked more than 100 cases of COVID-19 to this outbreak, according to DCHD. Health guides say most of the cases were caused by the UK variant. DCHD says they are concerned because they know the British variant is spreading more easily than other strains of the coronavirus, potentially leading to more cases.
The Department of Health says it also appears that children are more susceptible to disease from the British variant, which is among several identified in Douglas County. “It is critical that child carers are vaccinated,” said Health Director Dr. Adi Pour. “Childcare workers are entitled to the vaccine and can easily make an appointment on the DCHD website.”
Justin Frederick, Douglas County’s chief of communicable disease epidemiology, told WOWT 6 News that they are working to determine if another possible group of positive cases has been linked to the UK variant confirmed at the daycare. With the investigation still ongoing, he was unable to specify anything more about the possible second possible outbreak other than to say that the setting was “an event”.
DCHD emphasizes that people who work in childcare need to highlight the basics of fighting COVID-19, such as practicing good hand hygiene and wearing a mask when around unknown people.
Rosewood Academy issued a statement Friday afternoon stating that the outbreak was restricted to only the northwestern Omaha location, which has been closed since March 18. The daycare center had previously “exceeded the requirements of public health experts and sent children home when they had a fever above 99 degrees,” as opposed to the recommendation of 100.4 degrees, the press release said.
“The health and safety of children, families and employees is a top priority in the childcare and preschool at Rosewood Academy. The spread of the Great Britain (UK) variant at Rosewood Academy fits any place it’s available – it spreads more easily and children are more prone to it. Prevention procedures and protocols are the same as for other variants of the virus, using thorough screening, hand washing and cleaning procedures with employees, children and families.
Before the Rosewood Academy closed our Northwest location on March 18, it went beyond public health experts’ requirements and sent children home when they had a fever above 99 degrees instead of 100.4 degrees. One difficulty with the highly transmissible UK variant is that children are often asymptomatic with daily temperature screening procedures.
During strict procedures and vigilant practices, all three Rosewood Academy childcare and preschool locations remained open for more than a year without interruption until the UK variant caused many of the COVID-19 infections that have involved staff and children in our northwest location . The outbreak was confined to one location.
Rosewood Academy’s childcare and preschool continues to work closely and proactively with the Douglas County Health Department and families. Families and employees will receive ongoing communication and instruction regarding quarantine requirements before returning to Rosewood Academy and preschool. Employees are expected to continue reporting COVID symptoms and to meet quarantine requirements set by the Douglas County Health Department following a positive test result that has always been the case since the virus arrived. Rosewood Academy’s childcare and preschool will continue to work closely and work with the Douglas County Health Department to monitor this situation and encourage families and employees to receive the vaccine as soon as possible. “
(Photo by WOWT 6 News)