The News Journal | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko
The editorial in Wednesday’s News Journal commending the efforts of Govs. Wolf, Hogan and Carney in response to the COVID-19 outbreak should have pointed out the consistent misrepresentation of the Centers of Disease Control reports by Carney and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.
The recommendation to keep daycares open while closing schools and the additional irresponsible declarations that child care centers are safer places or that children are less vulnerable to becoming infected poses a threat to the entire population of Delaware.
The March 14 press release from DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker is rife with false and misleading assurances that threaten to exponentially expand the base of exposed people who will probably contract the virus.
Walker said, “Children appear to be less vulnerable to this virus and based upon the science we have now, it does not indicate that closing child care facilities will help in reducing the spread of COVID-19 adding that child care centers are controlled environments.”
Ask any child care provider and they will answer that this is NOT true. Providers cannot be expected to know which of their children or who in their families are carrying the virus.
Further, families have no obligation to inform daycares. It is impossible to clean often enough to prevent the spread of a virus, even in normal situations.
Nowhere on the CDC website did the CDC separate recommendations for schools and childcare facilities. All recommendations were the same.
Further, while schools can actually put in place some of the recommendations for preventive measures in place, childcare facilities absolutely cannot. Social distancing is impossible with populations under school age.
And the DHSS recommendation to “remind children to avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth” is actually laughable when it comes to preschool children and babies.
— Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark