Changes coming for daycares and parents dealing with COVID-19 quarantines

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Working parents with young children in daycare are at their wit’s end trying to manage mandatory COVID quarantines while still trying to keep up with work.

While schools have been able to “test to stay” when kids are exposed to COVID-19, daycares have not been allowed to do the same. Children younger than 2 are forced to quarantine for 10 days when exposed and children younger than 5 are mandated to quarantine for five days before returning with a mask.

News10NBC spoke with three moms on Monday, each with two children. All three have had to deal with seven 5-10 day quarantines for exposures at daycare this year.

“We do the best we can but it’s really becoming impossible to be a working parent at this point,” Colleen told News10NBC.

“Every Monday, we just do our best and take it one week at a time but I fully intend on one of the kids being in quarantine every single week at this point,” added Jenn.

And that takes its toll, not just on parents who are expected to keep up with work in addition to caring for their children but for the kids too.

“Our 3 1/2 year old receives early intervention services through the state and a local therapist that he doesn’t have access to in-person when he’s not at daycare,” Jenn explained.

“It’s emotionally draining and then there’s the mom guilt,” Ashely said.

While in Rochester for a ribbon cutting on Monday, Gov. Kathy Hochul said, she gets it.

“The challenge was children under the age of two are still we’re not allowed to get vaccinated and they also aren’t wearing masks so they are viewed as a more vulnerable population,” she said, “but now that we have test kits so widely available that parents can test their kids I don’t think the 10-day quarantine is necessary… so, I’ve directed the Department of Health and our Office of Children and Family Services to come out with a plan that works better for our families.”

But when, how much longer do working parents need to hold on?

Governor Hochul – Very soon.

Jennifer Lewke (News10NBC) – Weeks? Days?

Governor Hochul – Very soon.