FILE - Virus Outbreak Child Care

In this May 27, 2020 photo, Aaron Rainboth, a teacher at the Frederickson KinderCare daycare center in Tacoma, Wash., wears a mask as he takes the temperature of Benjamin Simpson, 4, after he complained of feeling hot following an outdoor play period, but found it to be normal. 

(The Center Square) – Daycare centers in Illinois have reported far fewer cases than childcare facilities in other states. 

Texas is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak at some of its child care facilities. More than 1,300 people have been affected in Texas, including more than 400 children.

In Illinois, the numbers are much lower. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 12 outbreaks at daycares, affecting 247 people, including 32 children.

Sarah Stoliker, president of Illinois Directors and Owners of Childcare Centers, said she is confident in the safety of the facilities throughout Illinois.

“We have not had the outbreaks and we have been able to demonstrate that we have been able to remain safe in our programs,” Stoliker said.

Liz German, CEO of the YWCA in Bloomington, said COVID-19 procedures are part of the daily routine at the nonprofit's daycare center.

“No classroom has over 10 students, we are taking temperatures every day, we are not allowing parents in the rooms to drop off, we are serving food differently,” German said. “Basically, everything we are doing is slightly different.”

Stoliker said with the lack of child care workers and the capacity limitations for child care facilities in Illinois, the state of the industry is looking bleak.

“It’s still a crisis. It is one crisis on top of another for child care programs being able to remain open,” she said. “It is looking pretty dire in the state of Illinois for child care programs for sure.”

In its guidelines, the Illinois Department of Public Health states a facility must shut down for a minimum of 2 to 5 days if a person who has COVID-19 has entered a child care facility.

Staff Reporter

Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for the Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.