62 coronavirus cases traced to outbreaks at Sonoma County preschools, child care centers

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Sonoma County health officials this week reported 62 coronavirus cases traced to outbreaks in at least a dozen preschools and child care centers.

In one cluster, 30 people contracted the virus at an early learning center in North County, where the health department believes the first case was a student, according to Dr. Sundari Mase, Sonoma County’s health officer.

Those infected include 16 children, 11 family members and three staff, and officials say there could be more.

The county shut down the center for two weeks, as is required by the state.

“In this cluster, 30 cases, students and staff and we are doing contact tracing, and we have it shutdown as you can imagine, we are following the protocol,” Dr. Mase said in a virtual briefing Wednesday. 

In another cluster, a family child care home, an outbreak with at least nine cases started with a staff member who had the virus.

Mase said several other home daycare facilities were recently ordered to shut down, but their quarantine period has since ended.  None of the facilities were named for privacy reasons, KTLA sister station KRON in San Francisco reported.

All schools in Sonoma County remain closed for in-person instruction as the county lingers ​in the state’s most restrictive tier, with the case load still too high for it to be allowed to transition to the next tier, which would allow schools to open in a limited capacity. 

The state has allowed child day care centers and schools offering day care to open at limited capacity and with coronavirus safety measures in place.

The majority of children in the county who tested positive for the virus have contracted it from people in their household, but the health officer says what has happened at these child care facilities is something to watch closely and learn from as officials consider waivers to reopen some grades and private schools for in-person learning.

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