The Tripledemic has had a significant impact on daycare, as many centers have had to close or limit their services due to public health concerns. This has created challenges for parents who rely on these services to care for their children while they are at work or school.
The closure of daycare centers has also had economic impacts. Many of these businesses are small and locally-owned, and the loss of income has been devastating for them. Many providers have had to lay off staff or even shut down permanently, leading to job losses and financial struggles for those affected.
A bird's eye view of daycare centers in the Bay Area
Today as we deal with high levels of Influenza and RSV among kids of daycare age along with a new COVID-19 surge, let's review the health risks across communities in the Bay Area where KinderCare, the largest daycare network in the country, has daycare centers.
This analysis is not sponsored or endorsed by KinderCare and the daycare center locations are used as representative of their communities similar to any other community essentials such as grocery stores and restaurants.
The local prevalence of Influenza Like Illnesses (ILI) in a select set of urban, suburban and small town communities in the Bay Area is represented by their /area index in the map above. Further details on the /area index are available at Sentinel Help | Hubbub World
As would be expected the more populous areas like San Francisco have greater prevalence than farther out suburbs like Pleasanton and Clayton.
In the City
San Francisco has the highest /area index in the Bay Area with COVID-19 at levels that require remote instruction unless adequate precautions such as 12+ ACH Indoor Air Quality is ensured. Further, the high levels of healthcare infrastructure utilization also suggest Caution while commuting to and from daycare and other play activities.
Down the Peninsula
Foster City as a newer planned development has relatively lower population density that helps with lower /area index compared to rest of the Peninsula. That allows for potential onsite operation of daycare with appropriate safety precautions given the community health risks still flash Caution.
Palo Alto (above) and Sunnyvale (below) are similar to most locations on the Peninsula currently facing high levels of ILI and COVID-19 as has been demonstrated by wastewater monitoring though they are on the decline as seen in the trend arrows in the hub summaries. The high /area index though suggests Remote operation unless adequate Indoor Air Quality safety measures delivering 12+ ACH equivalent are in place.
In the East Bay Suburbs
East Bay suburbs have much lower prevalence due to a number of town planning, demographic and environmental factors. Walnut Creek is currently seeing a decline in RSV and Flu cases offering the possibility of onsite operation with adequate precautions.
Pleasanton is in even better shape with more healthcare resources available to a population that tends to be cautious allowing for onsite operation.
Fremont is not quite in as comfortable a place as Pleasanton in terms of ILI and COVID-10 prevalence. But prevalence is still at levels that allow for onsite operation with precautions.
Clayton is a community with a typical small town that has low enough levels of all ILI to allow for onsite operation though the healthcare utilization is very high in the area. With enough commuters traveling to and from the higher risk areas such as San Francisco, onsite operation in Clayton will still require adequate precautions to minimize exposure risks.
Ensuring Indoor Air Quality
Hubbub Sentinel provides live updated guidance on ensuring IAQ using HVAC, windows and air cleaners. During a Tripledemic surge like at present, it would be most efficient to use all available resources including DIY air cleaners aka Corsi-Rosenthal (CR) boxes that can be made with readily available materials. Follow instructions by Sri on making the CR/SAFE boxes.
By ensuring adequate IAQ, a daycare center could also apply for and display
the Clean Indoor Air Champion badge to instill confidence among staff, parents and the community.
Sporting the Hubbub Sentinel badge on your website, email and apps also provides a real-time snapshot of health risks in a daycare facility and in the community with the recommended occupancy levels to minimize health risks.
Community health risks though the lens of daycare
Interruptions to daycare during the pandemic and the current Tripledemic surge has made it difficult for parents to work, particularly for those in essential industries who cannot work from home. This can lead to further economic disruptions and financial strain for families.
Additionally, the closure of daycare centers has disrupted the early education and socialization of young children. Many kids have missed out on important learning experiences and opportunities to interact with their peers, which can have negative effects on their development.
Overall, the Tripledemic has had a major impact on the daycare industry, leading to challenges for parents, providers, and children alike. It is important for communities to support daycare centers and find solutions to help alleviate the challenges caused by the pandemic.
Together, a safer world
You can also check your personal health risks at My Hubbub to know how to plan your day.
And sign up for My Bub alerts to keep you posted on the ups and downs over this winter.