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JAMA Netw Open ; 5(1): e2141227, 2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1653127


Importance: It is not known how effective child masking is in childcare settings in preventing the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. This question is critical to inform health policy and safe childcare practices. Objective: To assess the association between masking children 2 years and older and subsequent childcare closure because of COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective, 1-year, longitudinal electronic survey study of 6654 childcare professionals at home- and center-based childcare programs in all 50 states was conducted at baseline (May 22 to June 8, 2020) and follow-up (May 26 to June 23, 2021). Using a generalized linear model (log-binomial model) with robust SEs, this study evaluated the association between childcare program closure because of a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in either children or staff during the study period and child masking in both early adoption (endorsed at baseline) and continued masking (endorsed at baseline and follow-up), while controlling for physical distancing, other risk mitigation strategies, and program and community characteristics. Exposures: Child masking in childcare programs as reported by childcare professionals at baseline and both baseline and follow-up. Main Outcomes and Measures: Childcare program closure because of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case in either children or staff as reported in the May 26 to June 23, 2021, end survey. Results: This survey study of 6654 childcare professionals (mean [SD] age, 46.9 [11.3] years; 750 [11.3%] were African American, 57 [0.9%] American Indian/Alaska Native, 158 [2.4%] Asian, 860 [12.9%] Hispanic, 135 [2.0%] multiracial [anyone who selected >1 race on the survey], 18 [0.3%] Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and 5020 [75.4%] White) found that early adoption (baseline) of child masking was associated with a 13% lower risk of childcare program closure because of a COVID-19 case (adjusted relative risk, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.77-0.99), and continued masking for 1 year was associated with a 14% lower risk (adjusted relative risk, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.74-1.00). Conclusions and Relevance: This survey study of childcare professionals suggests that masking young children is associated with fewer childcare program closures, enabling in-person education. This finding has important public health policy implications for families that rely on childcare to sustain employment.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Child Care/statistics & numerical data , Child Care/standards , Child Day Care Centers/statistics & numerical data , Child Day Care Centers/standards , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Masks/standards , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(4): 1229-1231, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1147201


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 can persist on surfaces, suggesting possible surface-mediated transmission of this pathogen. We found that fomites might be a substantial source of transmission risk, particularly in schools and child daycares. Combining surface cleaning and decontamination with mask wearing can help mitigate this risk.

COVID-19 , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Fomites/virology , Infection Control , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Aged , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child Day Care Centers/standards , Decontamination/methods , Equipment Contamination/prevention & control , Hand Disinfection/methods , Humans , Infection Control/instrumentation , Infection Control/methods , Masks , Nursing Homes/standards , Schools/standards , United States/epidemiology