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Childcare settings experience COVID-19 outbreaks

Two recent incidents at Tacoma daycare facilities underscore the message that COVID-19 can spread even in controlled environments.

Unlike schools, the governor lists childcare establishments as essential businesses, allowing them to operate under the state’s coronavirus response. Tacoma-Pierce Health Department has guidance for childcare facilities for physical distancing, group size, cleaning and disinfecting, and sick leave policies.

This week, we identified two staff members and three children at two daycares who tested positive for COVID-19. Both facilities self-reported to the Health Department.

In one case, a worker with access to multiple classrooms tested positive. As a result, the daycare entered two weeks of voluntary closure.

In the second case, one staff member and three children tested positive, affecting multiple classrooms. That facility also entered two weeks of voluntary closure.

Child drawing

Both facilities are using the closure time to clean and sanitize.

With the help of the Health Department, both facilities issued letters to families.

Parents can help keep our daycares safe and healthy. Keep your child home if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. All children over the age of five must wear cloth face coverings while at daycare. Parents can also model good behavior like hand washing and social distancing.

It takes all of us to drive down disease rates.

This disease is widespread across Pierce County. More than 6,500 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak began. And, roughly 140 of our Pierce County neighbors died because of this disease. But recent case numbers show promise that things are improving.

It will take all of us to defeat COVID-19 in our community and to keep it at bay during flu season. Here’s what you can do to help us drive disease trends lower:

  • Wear a mask when you leave home. No shirt, no shoes, no mask? No service.
  • Limit your interactions to a small circle of friends and family.
  • Stay close to home.
  • Keep gatherings small and outside if possible.
  • Fresh air and physical distance help keep you safe.
  • Wash your hands, cover your cough, and keep up your best hygiene and sanitation.
  • Get tested if:
    • You think you were exposed.
    • You are Alaska Native, American Indian, Black or African American, Latinx, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander.
    • You have been in large gatherings of any sort.
    • You are experiencing symptoms.

Learn more about COVID-19 at Get more information about COVID-19 for school and childcare settings at