Keeping school closed during the COVID-19 pandemic has an unexpected side effect: it can create a child care shortage that impacts health care workers. If these people can't find child care, it forces them to stay home and not go to work.
It's estimated that about 29% of U.S. health care workers have children between 3 and 12 years of age, an analysis from Yale University and Colorado State University showed.
MONDAY, April 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- At least 1 in 7 U.S. health care workers have to miss work to care for their children if the coronavirus pandemic keeps schools closed -- and their absence could result in more patient deaths, researchers say.
Teams from Yale University and Colorado State University used U.S. Census data to project the child care needs of health care workers.
"Closing schools comes with many trade-offs, and can create unintentional child care shortages that put a strain on the health care system," said study co-lead author Eli Fenichel, associate professor of bioeconomics and ecosystem management at Yale.