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Texas allows COVID-19 rules for daycares to expire



The state of Texas has allowed the emergency rules for day care centers during the pandemic to expire.

That means daycares must once again allow parents inside their classrooms at any time, but some think it is too soon to relax safety measures.

This week, Texas Health and Human Services sent out a notice to all Texas daycare providers that the emergency requirements have expired and the agency will not be extending them.

Cori Berg is director of Hope Day School at Cathedral of Hope Church in Dallas and is concerned the state is letting its pandemic rules expire at this time.

“We have put so much work into these COVID protocols. We have traffic patterns, ways to make sure groups don’t come in contact with each other. To open up out of the blue without putting work into it… it is a disservice to everyone,” Berg said.

Last spring, in an effort to keep COVID-19 out of daycares, Texas Health and Human Services also decided to keep parents out. That meant instead of walking children directly to their classrooms, parents dropped children off outside.

Berg says she misses the transparency of parents walking their children thru the halls, but she believes the health risk is still too great.

“I think there are ways we can start to invite parents back and still have safety, but to come in and let them be close to kids when they are not vaccinated, is not okay right now,” Berg said.

Berg’s licensing representative said parents must also be allowed to walk into classrooms.

“So these classrooms with infants crawling all around on the floor, they will crawl up to anyone who walks in the room. If that is unvaccinated person. All those infants could be put at serious risk,” Berg said.

Texas Health and Human Services declined to do an interview, but pointed out the emergency order was limited by state law to 120 days.

Daycares may still impose mask requirements as other business are allowed to do.

But the mandate also required disease reporting, symptom screening, and cleaning and disinfecting. Those steps are now only recommendations.

“Now when you chose child care, it’s not only educational philosophy, also pandemic philosophy,” Berg said.