Transmission was documented from the children to at least 12 (26%) of 46 non-facility contacts who were listed as confirmed or probable cases. Transmission was observed from two of three children with confirmed, asymptomatic COVID-19, the CDC noted.

“SARS-CoV-2 infections among young children acquired in childcare settings were transmitted to their household members,” the CDC concluded.

“Testing of contacts of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in childcare settings, including children who might not have symptoms, could improve control of transmission from childcare attendees to family members.”

Although transmission from children 10 years of age and older has been documented, the outbreak shows that children in “daycare” can also spread infection. “To better understand transmission from young children, contact tracing data collected from three COVID-19 outbreaks in childcare facilities in Salt Lake City, UT, from April 1 through July 10, 2020, were retrospectively reviewed to explore attack rates and transmission patterns,” the CDC reported.

Contact tracing data show that children can play a role in transmission from childcare settings to household contacts. Having SARS-CoV-2 testing available, timely results, and testing of contacts of persons with COVID-19 in childcare settings regardless of symptoms can help prevent transmission, the CDC concluded.

“CDC guidance for childcare programs recommends the use of face masks, particularly among staff members, especially when children are too young to wear masks, along with hand hygiene, frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, and staying home when ill to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission,” the agency noted.


  1. Lopez AS, Hill M, Antezano J, et al. Transmission dynamics of COVID-19 outbreaks associated with child care facilities – Salt Lake City, Utah, April-July 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020; Sept. 11. doi: [Online ahead of print].