HAE
COVID-19 Case reporting for Childcares

Childcares are required to report COVID-19 cases in their facilities to both local public health and their licensing specialist. Please complete this form to notify the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment. 

Link to parent letter

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 among customers or employees:

  • The facility must notify and cooperate with the health department on next steps.
  • To report a COVID-19 illness or exposure concern to us about a student or staff member, please complete this form.

Ventilation

CDC Guidance for Increased Ventilation to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

  • Increase the introduction of outdoor air:

    • Open outdoor air dampers beyond minimum settings to reduce or eliminate HVAC air recirculation. In mild weather, this will not affect thermal comfort or humidity. However, this may be difficult to do in cold, hot, or humid weather, and may require consultation with an experienced HVAC professional.

    • Open windows and doors, when weather conditions allow, to increase outdoor air flow. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk (e.g., risk of falling, triggering asthma symptoms) to occupants in the building. Even a slightly open window can introduce beneficial outdoor air.

  • Use fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows:

    • To safely achieve this, fan placement is important and will vary based on room configuration. Avoid placing fans in a way that could potentially cause contaminated air to flow directly from one person to another (see FAQ below on indoor use of fans). One helpful strategy is to use a window fan, placed safely and securely in a window, to exhaust room air to the outdoors. This will help draw outdoor air into the room via other open windows and doors without generating strong room air currents. Similar results can be established in larger facilities using other fan systems, such as gable fans and roof ventilators.

Workspaces

  • CDHS Guidelines for Visitors in Childcare Facilities during COVID
  • Keep groups of children together with the same staff when possible
  • Conduct daily temperature checks and monitor symptoms in employees and students and any person entering the building. Refer symptomatic employees to get COVID-19 testing.
  • Require handwashing upon arrival and enable handwashing throughout the day
  • Limit the number of child-staff and child-child interaction in common spaces as much as possible (e.g. playground equipment, hallways, etc.)
  • Encourage 6-foot distancing and, where possible, implement distancing systems while learning
  • Stagger meal times (if normally done in a large group) and encourage individual meals (no family-style dining)
  • Disinfect all high-touch areas at the start and end of the day and, when possible, throughout the day  (Additional Guidance)
  • Limit the toys in use to those that are easily cleanable, non-porous, with smooth surfaces and eliminate soft, fabric toys, dress-up clothing, sensory tables and water play 
  • Establish a clear plan/protocol to isolate staff and children who have symptoms 
  • Determine plan for substitute staff members to cover for ill or quarantined staff

Employees

  • Recommend the use of face coverings or masks (preferred medical-grade if available, otherwise cloth)  (Additional Guidance)
  • Provide guidance and encouragement on maintaining 6-foot distancing
  • Provide guidance and encouragement on frequent handwashing
  • Provide training to all staff related to current local, state, or federal guidance 
  • Require staff to stay home when showing any symptoms or signs of sickness
  • Provide all staff with support and referrals for their mental health needs

To protect children/parents

  • Consider implementing curbside pick-up and drop-off
  • Implement alternative child check-in and check-out procedures that minimize parent touching of shared items (pens, paper, etc.)
  • Require parents to keep children home when showing any symptoms or signs of sickness
  • Encourage parents to take their children’s temperature prior to bringing them to child care
  • Provide and recommend face coverings or masks for children age 2+. No face coverings or masks for children under 2
  • Remove face coverings or masks from children during naps and place nap mats 6 feet apart

Cleaning Guidance

Increase deep cleaning to at least 2 times per week and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like doorknobs, tables, drinking fountains and handrails. For instructions regarding disinfecting click here. For an additional list of recommended products visit: https://www.americanchemistry.com/Novel-Coronavirus-Fighting-Products-List.pdf

Illness or Exposures in Staff or Children

When a child presents with COVID-like or communicable disease symptoms, especially if the symptoms (cough, vomiting, diarrhea) might be explained by overeating, overexertion, allergies, etc. it is important to isolate and observe the child for additional symptoms. Additional symptom information can be found in CDPHE's "How Sick is Too Sick?" guidance. Isolation can occur at the center as long as they are kept out of the general population. If symptoms worsen, then the child should be sent home. If symptoms resolve and can be explained away by one of the situations listed above, the child may return to the general population. In the event symptoms do not resolve or worsen, the child must be isolated until they are able to be picked up by a parent or guardian. Testing for COVID-19 is strongly recommended to verify the diagnosis of COVID-19. In the absence of testing, or if the child tests positive, they are to remain home and isolated for at least 5 days following their first symptom, plus 24 hours after fever resolves and when other symptoms have resolved or are improving.

Well fitting masks must be worn for 5 days after discontinuing isolation if cases utilize the shortened 5 day option. In situations where it is not feasible for a child to reliably wear a well fitting mask in this time frame (days 6-10), the individual should be excluded for the full 10 day period. These situations may include early childhood education centers and classes with special needs students. Facilities are encouraged to consult with LCDHE to determine if masking requirements can be met in order to utilize this shortened 5 day isolation period.  Facilities are encouraged to make this common knowledge for parents and staff as well as create a mask friendly environment so students do not experience unintended consequences (i.e. bullying) from following these requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Complete this form for every COVID-19 case in your facility. While LCDHE is longer requiring the quarantine of an entire cohort for a single positive case, tracking positive case information in facilities will help us provide the best guidance possible. Factors that our team considers when requiring larger groups to quarantine include:

  • The number of positive or suspected COVID-19 cases
  • The timeline of symptom onset or positive test results
  • Information around outside exposures
  • Use of face coverings in the facility
     

Facilities should still notify families after a single positive case  and can use this letter as a template to do so.

If someone is positive for COVID-19, they must stay isolated for 5 days from the first day they started having symptoms (or in the absence of symptoms, 5 days since the date they were tested) and must be 24 hours fever-free with other symptoms resolved or improving. Well fitting masks must be worn for 5 days after discontinuing isolation if cases utilize the shortened 5 day option. In situations where it is not feasible for a case to reliably wear a well fitting mask in this time frame (days 6-10), the individual should be excluded for the full 10 day period. These situations may include early childhood education centers and classes with special needs students. Facilities are encouraged to consult with LCDHE to determine if masking requirements can be met in order to utilize this shortened 5 day isolation period.  

Child care centers, family child care homes, and building-based school-age programs. This does not apply for school-age day camps, license-exempt youth programs, or resident camps.

There is nothing that prohibits field trips. However, all physical distancing requirements are required including keeping children 6 feet apart while transporting.

Mats/cots should be placed 6 feet apart. It is recommended that children be spaced head to toe. Mats, cots and sheets should be stored and washed as you normally would.

CDPHE recommends that childcare facilities implement universal masking for all individuals in Colorado. As of 2/12/22 there are no local public health orders requiring universal masking in school or childcare settings. LCDHE continues to strongly recommend that well-fitting, high-quality masks be worn in crowded indoor spaces to help curb outbreaks. Masks are not to be worn during naptime.

  • No, but it is important to assure that children and staff wash their hands when they return to the building.
  • Additional notes on playgrounds:
    • Public playgrounds that are closed should not be used. If they are open, all orders need to be followed.
    • Outdoor sensory tables and sandboxes should not be used.
    • Sprinkler play is allowed but no other water activities should be occurring (ex. wading pools, swimming, water tables, etc.)

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