Q: What are the quarantine and isolation guidelines for child care settings? – Updated March 2, 2022
Due to declining COVID-19 case rates and high levels of immunity, beginning March 12, 2022, Oregon Health Authority has paused the quarantine requirement for individuals exposed to COVID-19 in child care and K-12 settings. Individuals who test positive must be excluded from child care and isolate at home for 5 days. They may then return when symptoms are resolving and fever-free for 24 hours. When returning to care, that individual should wear a well-fitting mask in child care and public settings for 5 days after their isolation started. Early education and child care programs must notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they have two or more COVID symptoms or test positive. Early education and child care programs may choose to impose stricter isolation, quarantine or masking requirements.
Q: Does a child care program need to close if there’s a positive COVID-19 case? If so, for how long?
ELD does not require closure of programs. However, a program may need to close if there are too many staff excluded for isolation maintain operations and staffing ratios.
Q: What are child care providers required to communicate to families if there is a positive COVID-19 case? – Updated March 2, 2022
Early education and child care programs must notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they are symptomatic or positive. Providers must also communicate about a confirmed COVID-19 case to Local Public Health Authority.
Q: Can a parent ask if a child care staff member is vaccinated?
The Early Learning Division does not have authority to determine if parents are allowed to ask vaccination status. A provider or staff member may choose to answer or not.
Q: Are masks still required indoors?
The statewide indoor mask requirement ended on March 11, 2022. A child care program can choose whether to require masks. Head Start federal mask requirements are still currently in place.
The Early Learning Division and the Oregon Health Authority in alignment with the Center for Disease Control, strongly recommend that masks be worn by all individuals age 2 and older indoors when:
- There are high levels of COVID-19 transmission in communities
- There are medium levels of COVID-19 transmission and individuals are:
- At high risk of COVID-19 hospitalization
- 65 and older or with underlying health conditions
- Living with people who have underlying health conditions.
Some programs may choose to continue universal masking at lower COVID-19 community levels because it promotes an inclusive and supportive environment for those children and staff who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19.
Q: Can a parent ask their child care program to support distance learning?
This is a business decision that should be made by individual programs.
Q: Are testing kits available to child care programs?
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has a limited supply of testing kits to distribute across the state. For the first time, there are tests available for a limited number of early learning programs. These kits are being allocated to support Head Start, Preschool Promise and Relief Nurseries across the state. Unfortunately, that means a number of child care programs still do not have access to free tests. We are working with OHA to identify additional resources to serve more early learning and child care programs throughout Oregon.
Free at home COVID-19 tests are available through the federal government’s website with a limit of four at-home tests per residential address.
While there are testing shortages, OHA is prioritizing testing for the following:
- Individuals with moderate to severe illness who require medical care
- Individuals with symptoms or exposure at high risk for complications who meet eligibility criteria for COVID-19 therapeutics
Symptomatic individuals with mild symptoms who do not require medical care may be advised to isolate while recovering and not be recommended for testing during supply constraints.
Q: Can a provider accept an at home COVID-19 test?
Q: Can you explain what is a “well-fitting mask” for children?
It’s any mask that fits snuggly and the child will wear reliably.
Q: Where can I find additional resources?
Q: Is daily symptom screening still recommended?
Daily screening is no longer required. However, staff and family should be aware of COVID-19 symptoms, and individuals should be excluded if symptoms develop. If symptomatic, it is recommended they get tested for COVID-19.
Q: Are child care providers still required to notify Local Public Health if there is a positive COVID-19 case in their facility?