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Questions and Answers from July 2020 Early Care and Education Partners Meeting

August 14, 2020

Dear Early Care and Education Partners:

Click here to access the Questions and Answers from the July 2020 Early Care and Education Partners Meeting.

Click here to access the presentation from the July 2020 Early Care and Education Partners Meeting.

Please find the following Child Care Guidance from the Department of Children and Families.

Reducing the Spread

Effective strategies for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the facility include:

  • Keep people more than 6 feet apart
  • Intensify cleaning and disinfection efforts, including devising a schedule, and focus on toys, games, and other objects and surfaces that are frequently used
  • Modify drop-off and pick-up procedures to include thorough screening
  • Maintain an adequate ratio of staff to children to ensure safety
  • Children and childcare providers shall not change from one group to another
  • If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room and not mix or interact with each other
  • Immediate exclusion of anyone who is symptomatic*, who has tested positive for COVID-19, or who is a close contact to a case of COVID-19

*If the sick child or adult is evaluated by a medical provider, tests negative by PCR for SARS-CoV-2 and is not a known close contact to a case of COVID-19, then they can return 24 hours after resolution of fever and other symptoms.

Cases of COVID-19

Once a case of COVID-19 (a person with a positive PCR or antigen laboratory result, regardless of symptoms) is identified among the child care program attendees or staff, providers should identify all close contacts associated with the facility who had exposure to the case during the infectious period. A case is typically considered to be infectious from 48 hours before symptoms first appeared (or date of first positive laboratory test for people without symptoms) up to 10 days later.

A close contact is any individual who was within 6 feet of the case for more than 15 minutes or had contact with the case’s body fluids and/or secretions, for example, being coughed or sneezed on, sharing of a drink or food utensils.

Childcare providers should notify parents and other relevant contacts of the exposure. In addition, the facility should temporarily close the areas where the COVID-19 case was and disinfect. Additionally, providers should work closely with the local county health department staff to facilitate contact tracing by providing a line list of known contacts and their phone numbers.

Return to Child Care

Cases of COVID-19 should be allowed to return to the facility after meeting the following criteria:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved

For cases of COVID-19 who were never symptomatic, they should be allowed to return after at least 10 days have passed since the date of their positive lab test.

Please note that based on the recommendation from a healthcare professional, persons with severe illness or patients who are severely immunocompromised may need to be isolated for 20 days.

Close contacts to cases of COVID-19 should be allowed to return after 14 days have passed from their last date of exposure to the case if they have remained symptom free. For close contacts who develop symptoms within the 14 days, they should seek medical care and testing. If their COVID-19 test is negative, then they can return to work after 14 days have passed since their last exposure to the case and if their symptoms have resolved. If their test is positive, they will be considered a case of COVID-19 and should follow the guidance for cases as stated above.


Please contact your county health department with questions and for assistance in contact tracing.

Hand Washing VideoFlyer 1 (Spanish version) and Flyer 2

CDC Child Care Guidance

DCF FAQ for Child Care Providers