Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.
Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing, starting November 8, 2021. More information is available here.

What to Do if a Child Becomes Sick Or Receives A New COVID-19 Diagnosis At Your Child Care Program

What to Do if a Child Becomes Sick Or Receives A New COVID-19 Diagnosis At Your Child Care Program

Image of a flow chart, all of the text from the flow chart is on the page below the image.

  • Child shows signs of an illness that could be COVID-19.1
    • Footnote 1: The most common symptoms include fever or chills, cough, nasal congestion or runny nose, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, stomachache, tiredness, headache, muscle or body aches, and poor appetite or poor feeding (especially in babies under 1 year old).
  • Arrange for child to be escorted from classroom or current space. Alert the COVID-19 point of contact (POC).2
    • Footnote 2: The designated COVID-19 POC is often a staff person who is responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns, such as a director.
  • COVID-19 POC escorts child to isolation room/area and ensures child is properly supervised. The parent or caregiver is called. Arrangements are made for the child to either go home or seek emergency medical attention.
    • Note: If you must place two or more children in the same isolation room/area, ensure that the space is well-ventilated, all children are supervised, the children stay at least 6 feet apart, and children ages 2 years and older wear masks.
  • Parent or caregiver picks up child and contacts healthcare provider for evaluation and possible COVID-19 test.
  • Clean and disinfect areas that ill child occupied.
  • Ventilate the area(s), wait at least several hours or longer if possible before cleaning to let virus particles settle, and use personal protective equipment (including protection needed for cleaning and disinfecting products) to reduce risk of infection.

If the child has a negative COVID-19 test result (with no known close contact):

  • Child returns to child care program following the program’s existing illness management policies.

If the child has a positive COVID-19 test result:

  • Child begins home isolation.
  • COVID-19 POC starts a list of close contacts of the ill child and informs staff and parents or caregivers of close contacts of possible exposure.3
    • Footnote 3: A close contact is someone who was less than 6 feet away from infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
  • COVID-19 POC works with local health officials to assess spread and support follow up with staff and parents or caregivers of children that had contact with the ill child.
  • Parents or caregivers of close contacts are advised to keep their children who are not fully vaccinated home (quarantine) for 14 days and to consult with the child’s healthcare provider for evaluation and a possible COVID-19 test.
  • Members of the ill child’s household and any child care provider or staff who are not fully vaccinated and had close contact with the ill child are advised to quarantine for 14 days.
  • If fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, close contacts do not have to quarantine at home following an exposure. In addition to correctly wearing a mask in the child care program, they should wear a mask in other indoor public settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test when testing 5–7 days after exposure.
  • If fully vaccinated but experiencing symptoms, isolate immediately.
  • The ill child can return to the child care program and end isolation once the following criteria are met:
    • 10 days since symptoms first appeared, AND
    • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medication, AND
    • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.