Updated Guidance about COVID-19 for Child Care, Early Learning and School Age Programs
Recently, Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington State Department of Health adopted the masking guidance for those who are fully vaccinated from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. What does this mean for child care?
CDC guidance for child cares remains unchanged (masks for ages 2 and up) and CDC summer camp guidance, which was updated on April 24, 2021, states that “Fully vaccinated people should continue to take prevention steps, including wearing masks when working or volunteering in youth settings.”
Children under age 12 are unable to be vaccinated and the virus continues to circulate in our community. At this time, child care providers and children do need to continue to wear masks to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Masks continue to be strongly encouraged for children 2-4 years of age with adult supervision and are required for children age 5 and older.
The Department of Labor and Industries (LNI) has not yet made changes to the mask requirements for child care staff. Continue to wear a mask when not working alone. Masks should be worn over the mouth and nose, be made of multiple layers of fabric such as cotton, should fit comfortably, and should not have gaps.
The Washington State K-12 school guidance, which was updated a few days ago, still requires masks of visitors. Because we do not have updated guidance specific to child care settings, but the same general reasoning used to develop the school guidance (i.e. children are not eligible for the vaccine) is valid for child care settings as well, it is prudent to use this guidance at this time. Private businesses are allowed to be stricter than the minimum requirements. It is within your right to require masks for parents coming into your center or, if they choose not to wear a face covering, you could bring the child out to them for pick up.
For child care questions, contact the Snohomish Health District Child Care Health Outreach Program at firstname.lastname@example.org
For COVID 19 questions related to exposure contact the CD Line: 425-339-5278