Important Reminders to Keep Children and Child Care Providers Healthy
We continue to see increased numbers of COVID-19 infections in our community. To keep children in child care settings safe remember these general guidelines:
Illness screening and exclusion:
- Ill children and staff should not be at the child care. Conduct daily health checks upon arrival and monitor health throughout the day. Here is a link to the updated child care exclusion poster as well as a DOH procedure for screening staff.
- When conducting temperature checks of children, use one of these options:
- Use a non-contact thermometer if available
- If a non-contact thermometer is not available, wear gloves when having direct contact with the child and maintain as much distance as possible. The thermometer must be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Practice good hand hygiene before and after.
- Provide a clean and disinfected thermometer to the parent (or have parents bring their own) and have the parent take the child’s temperature and show the thermometer to staff.
- Individuals who become ill with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must stay at home until:
- 72 hours have passed since the fever goes away and symptoms begin to improve; and
- At least 7 days have passed since the symptoms began.
- If you become aware that a child or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and you worked with that person up to two days before they became ill, you need to quarantine for 14 days. Do not work at another child care location. Children who were exposed must be kept at home for 14 days. Refer to “What to do if you were exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19).”
- If you are a child care provider and become aware that another child or staff member was directly exposed to an individual, including any household member, who was sick with COVID-19, that exposed individual must quarantine for 14 days. They should not be at child care.
- The 14 day quarantine period for individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 begins on the day after that person was last in direct contact with the positive case. In the case of a household member, the 14 day period begins after the COVID-19 positive person’s infectious period ends. Consult your health care provider for guidance.
Keep groups small and consistent
- Avoid mixing children from different groups and keep staff consistent. That way if a child or staff member becomes positive, only those individuals who were in that group would be considered close contacts who will need to quarantine for 14 days. Otherwise, it may be your whole program that has to close.
Cloth face coverings
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new recommendations
on April 3rd
that wearing a homemade cloth face coverings may provide benefits in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Whether cloth face coverings are appropriate for use in child care settings is currently under review. At this point, homemade cloth face coverings are a voluntary public health measure.
- Cloth face coverings are meant to reduce the risk of individuals who may be infected but not showing symptoms from spreading the illness to others. Anyone with symptoms needs to be at home.
- All social distancing guidance developed for child care facilities must still be followed, whether cloth face coverings are worn or not.
- The cloth face coverings should not be surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
- If cloth face coverings are worn, it is important to keep hands away from the face and not fidget with it. Cloth face coverings must be cleaned properly after each use.
- For safety, children under the age of 2 should not wear cloth face coverings.
- To learn more about wearing cloth face coverings, see the these resources:
Please contact the Snohomish Health District Child Care Health Outreach program if you have questions about these guidelines or other child care health and safety issues. You can reach us by leaving a message at 425-252-5415 or sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions related to your own health or symptoms related to COVID-19, please contact your own health care provider.