Schools and Child Care Centers
Many parents and school officials have expressed various concerns about school closures due to COVID-19. From past experience, we know that students whose school is closed tend to spend time together in other areas during the times they would normally be in school. This does not decrease the risk of spread of disease, so it’s important parents and students are informed how to stay protected and adhere to community-wide recommendations to stay home, reduce non-essential outings, and avoid gatherings of 10 or more.
What Schools Can Do with Closures in Effect
- Ensure parents/guardians have a plan to designate a caregiver for a sick child(ren) if parents/guardians can’t stay home.
- Share resources to address food insecurity for families who rely on schools for breakfast and/or lunch.
- Identify at-home learning opportunities during student absences or school closures.
- Identify how the school will communicate updates to parents/guardians.
- Resources and information:
- Maricopa County COVID-19 Guidance for School Response (PDF)
- CDC guidance for child care centers and schools K-12
- CDC guidance for households
- Letter for school administrators (English) (Spanish)
- COVID-19 vs. other coronavirus strains (English and Spanish)
- Letter for American Leadership Academy--Ironwood Campus (03.09.2020)
- Webinars for School Health & Administration:
- Webinar: Thursday, March 12
What Child Care Centers Can Do
- If a child presents symptoms of respiratory illness, they should be sent home.
- Implement your annual seasonal influenza plan.
- Children and staff who are ill, especially with acute respiratory symptoms (not allergies or chronic conditions), should stay home.
- Review sick policies for staff; ensure staff can stay home when ill.
- Maricopa County Department of Public Health recommends all employees and daycare attendees who have a fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater), cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, or other respiratory symptoms stay home and not return to work/school/daycare until they are free of fever and other respiratory symptoms for at least 72 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication). Chronic medical conditions like allergies or controlled asthma do not require exclusion from work/school/daycare. This recommendation applies regardless of whether the individual has been tested for COVID19 or not, and is advised to reduce overall risk of transmission of flu-like illness before returning to work or daycare.
- Medical Absence Statement for employees and daycare attendees (PDF)
A template communication for optional use by child care providers, employers, and schools.
- Ensure prescribed cleaning is happening at school facilities (routine disinfectants are appropriate).Enhance cleaning of high touch surfaces like door knobs, toilet handles, and sink handles.
- Ensure that hand sanitizer, soap/paper towels and tissues are widely available in school facilities.
Remind students to cover their coughs/sneezes with a tissue or their elbow.