Among the new positive cases of COVID-19 is a child between the ages of zero and four. This is the first child to test positive in the state of Oklahoma.

The St. Luke’s Childcare Center at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in downtown Oklahoma City confirmed Wednesday that the child attended the center and was from the infant to 1-year-old room.  

Executive Pastor of Administration, CFO Phil Greenwald released the following statement:

“This morning, we received a call from the Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) informing us a child from the infant to 1-year-old room of our downtown childcare center tested positive for COVID-19. The child, who was not showing any symptoms of illness, has not been in our facility since Friday.

Following the guidance of the OCCHD, we immediately reached out to all families of children in the class. Those who were in attendance were quickly picked up and have entered a period of self-quarantine. Two teachers who work directly with the class have also placed themselves in self-quarantine, as recommended by state officials.

We also consulted with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS), who asked us to keep the rest of the downtown childcare center – as well as our other locations – open. We intend to follow DHS’ recommendation, and we will continue to apply best practices in thorough handwashing and sanitization of classrooms.

The health and safety of the children in our care is and always will be our top priority.”

 

Doctors said the good news is children in general have a more mild disease and present with minimal or no symptoms. Hospitals in China, Italy and other states in the United States report very few children require hospitalization and they have every reason to believe that’s true in Oklahoma as well.

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned about children getting the disease.

“Although most children have minimal or no symptoms, they still are infected and therefore can spread the infection to others,” said Dr. Morris Gessouroun, the Chair of Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Gessouroun said there’s even growing evidence that the spread of the disease from those with minimal symptoms like children exceed that of those who are visibly ill. So, parents should make every effort to make sure their children stay away from vulnerable people like grandparents.

In addition, doctors said moderate or severe disease is slightly more common in infants under one year of age, who are undergoing chemotherapy, or with pre-existing medical conditions like congenital heart disease, lung disease such as asthma or cystic fibrosis, kidney and liver disease or suppressed immune systems.

“These children in particular should be watched closely for the development of key symptoms such as cough, fever and difficulty breathing,” said Dr. Gessouroun.

The U.S. Surgeon General also recommends parents not allow play dates during this time so children don’t spread the virus amongst themselves and bring it home.