A child care facility in Lake Oswego, Ore. is among the first in the nation to report an outbreak of COVID-19. It is the first child care center in Oregon to experience a publicly reported outbreak of the virus.
KinderCare in the Lake Grove neighborhood of Lake Oswego is the source of five or more cases of COVID-19, according to Clackamas County Public Health. The health department confirmed the cases affected both people at the facility and their family members. It’s unclear if there are any kids involved.
Schools across the country have largely been closed, so child care facilities are viewed as an indicator for whether schools can open safely. Few facilities have reported any case clusters, leading to some optimism.
KinderCare Education LLC, a for-profit company based in Portland, operates in 41 states and has more than 1,200 childcare facilities. The company declined to confirm the number of cases at the Lake Oswego facility or whether students were involved, but did say it closed the center for two weeks to address concerns there. The company also declined to say whether other locations had outbreaks.
Oregon Health Authority spokesman Jonathan Modie says officials are meeting today on the issue of child care facilities and what information can be released, but he did not have further details or comment. He did not have information about whether other daycare facilities have seen outbreaks.
Clackamas County’s Public Health Assistant Director Julie Aalbers said it was up to the facility to report details. “That would be up to KinderCare to share or not share,” she said.
KinderCare elected not to share.
“The health and safety of our children, families and staff is always our top priority,” says Emily Snyder, Associate Communications Manager of the company KinderCare Education LLC. “In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve developed enhanced health and safety measures in partnership with the CDC and a panel of medical experts to ensure our centers remain as clean and safe as possible.
“As soon as we learned of the positive diagnoses in Lake Grove, we partnered with the Clackamas County Health Department and closed the center for 14 days to allow for a professional deep cleaning, retraining on our protocols and re-testing of our staff before we reopen. We’re also taking the extra step of retraining all of our Oregon center staff to ensure we’re delivering against the highest standards possible. We’re looking forward to welcoming families back to our center soon.”