Solutions to child care during COVID-19

Care for your child or for pandemic-stricken patients? It’s a choice that most health care professionals never imagined they’d face. Unfortunately, due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases and dwindling child care options, it’s an unsettling reality.

Liz Chen, an assistant professor at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is co-leading the UNC Task Force for Child Care for Health Care Workers. Its mission is urgent: to find solutions to emergency child care services needed by employees of UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine. Coronavirus-induced school and daycare closings have turned their lives into logistical conundrums.

“We keep hearing from health care employees that this feels like an impossible situation,” Chen said. “They feel a sense of urgency and duty to go to work.”

One quick answer was launching childcarenc.org, a website that includes resources and safety recommendations for Triangle-area health care workers. On the site, they can find a needs-assessment survey, family guidelines and resources offered by organizations across the state, including emergency services coordinated by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the YMCA.

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