Governor scaling up safety at child care centers with emergency rules during pandemic

Investigations

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Governor Greg Abbott directed Texas Health and Human Services Commission to enact new emergency rules to increase safety at child care centers. 

The action comes after an increase in COVID-19 cases at those centers.

According to a HHSC spokesperson, the state’s latest numbers show 615 reported positive cases of COVID-19 at 453 child care operations, 414 are among staff and 201 include children.

The emergency rule would put in place a statewide standard of infection control for child care centers.

“Under Gov. Abbott’s direction, we are currently developing emergency rules to enhance safety measures at child care operations,” explained Kelli Weldon with HHSC.

KXAN News has requested details on what that could include, but Weldon said to check back on an update.

KXAN investigator Arezow Doost talked to the owners of several child care centers and they said they’re waiting on guidance on what this means for them now. 

The announcement comes on the heels of the state lifting some safety precautions for child care centers almost two weeks ago. 

Those measures were repealed on June 12, which included screening and checking temperatures, as well as maintaining drop-off and pick-up outside only. 

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