To evaluate the role of childcare facilities in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, we conducted a longitudinal study to gain further knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 prevalence, transmission and spread among preschool children, their parents and caretakers. Study design: Children between 1 and 6 years of age, their parents and caregivers in 14 childcare facilities in Dresden, Saxony/Germany were invited to participate in the KiTaCoviDD19-study between July 2020 and January 2021. Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was assessed up to 4 times during the study period in all participating adults and personal characteristics as well as epidemiologic information of personal SARS-CoV-2 history were obtained. Samples for stool virus shedding of SARS-CoV-2 were analyzed by PCR every 2-4 weeks in all participating children. Results: In total, 318 children, 299 parents and 233 childcare workers were enrolled. By January 2021, 11% of the participating adults were detected as seropositive, whereas the percentage of children shedding SARS-CoV-2 was 6.8%. Overall, we detected 17 children with SARS-CoV-2 virus shedding in 8 different childcare facilities. In 4 facilities there occurred a maximum of 3 connected cases in children. About 50% of SARS-CoV-2 infections in children could not be connected to a secondary case within our study population. Conclusion: This study does not provide evidence for relevant asymptomatic (“silent”) spread of SARS-CoV-2 in childcare facilities, in either a low or a high prevalence setting. Our findings add to the evidence that childcare and educational settings do not play a crucial role in driving the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Fuente: The Journal of Pediatrics