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Covid-19 Protocols

Respiratory Etiquette and Hand Hygiene

Help children learn simple steps to keep from getting and spreading COVID-19. Use visual tools, demonstrations, stories, and play:

  • Encourage staff and children to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
  • Teach and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase monitoring to ensure adherence among all children and staff. Make sure hands are thoroughly dry after washing using either a clean, dry towel or air drying.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, staff and children (over age 2) can use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Make sure all surfaces of hands are covered and that hands are rubbed together until they feel dry. Hand sanitizers should be stored up, away, and out of sight of children and should be used only with adult supervision for children under age 6 years. Hand sanitizers might not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy, handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds is recommended.
  • Assist children with handwashing, including infants who cannot wash hands alone. After assisting children with handwashing or helping them put on or adjust their mask, staff should also wash their hands.
  • All children and staff should wash their hands with soap and water at the following key times:
    • Arrival to your facility
    • Before and after preparing food or drinks
    • Before and after eating or handling food or feeding children
    • Before and after helping a child put on or adjust their mask
    • Before and after administering medication or medical ointment
    • Before and after diapering a child
    • After using the bathroom or after helping a child use the bathroom
    • After having contact with body fluids
    • After handling garbage

Holding, Washing, or Feeding a Child

It is important that you comfort crying, sad, or anxious infants and toddlers and they often need to be held. To the extent possible when holding, washing, or feeding young children, protect yourself by:

  • Washing your hands frequently.
  • Wash your hands, neck, and anywhere you have been touched by a child’s body fluids.
  • Avoid touching your eyes while holding, washing, or feeding a child.
  • If body fluids get on the child’s clothes, change them right away, whenever possible, and then your hands should be rewashed.
  • Wash your hands before and after handling infant bottles prepared at home or in the facility.

Wearing Masks

  • Everyone 2 years and older should wear a mask covering their mouth and nose when around people who do not live in their household, except when eating or sleeping.
  • Teach and reinforce the consistent and correct use of masks for all staff and children aged 2 years and older.
  • A mask is NOT a substitute for physical distancingMasks should still be worn in addition to physical distancing. Wearing a mask is especially important indoors and when physical distancing is difficult to implement or maintain while providing care to young children.
  • Learn from CDC about How to Select, Wear, and Clean Your Mask.
  • After touching or removing your mask, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • CDC recognizes there are specific instances when wearing a mask is not be feasible. In these instances, consider adaptions and alternatives.