MASK REQUIREMENT LIFTING MARCH 11,
QUARANTINE GUIDANCE CHANGES
Earlier this week, Governor Brown announced Oregon will lift mask requirements for indoor public spaces and schools, including child care, on March 11, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. This decision is based on current COVID-19 case forecasting, which projects hospitalizations falling below 400 or fewer Oregonians per day by March 12. This will return Oregon to a level of hospitalization experienced prior to the Omicron variant. Additionally, because of high vaccination rates and previous infection due to Omicron, Oregon now has significant population immunity.
Beginning March 12, 2022, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will pause the quarantine requirement for individuals exposed to COVID-19 in child care and K-12 settings. Staff and children who test positive must be excluded from child care and isolate at home for 5 days. They may then return when symptoms are improving and they have been fever-free for 24 hours. When returning to care, staff and children that had tested positive, if 2 years and older, should wear a well-fitting mask in child care and public settings for an additional 5 days after their isolation is completed.
The OHA and Early Learning Division (ELD) recommend that early education and child care programs notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms or test, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they are symptomatic or test positive. Early education and child care programs may choose to impose stricter isolation, quarantine or masking requirements.
The ELD will be updating its COVID-19 guidance document to include changes to mask requirements and isolation and quarantine guidelines. Please continue to stay connected via the Child Care Updates newsletter and social media for when a new version of this document is available.
Providers with questions can contact their licensing specialist, email ProviderContact@ode.oregon.gov or reference the FAQ below.
Q: What are the quarantine and isolation guidelines for child care settings? – Updated September 26, 2022
Due to declining COVID-19 case rates and high levels of immunity, Oregon Health Authority has removed the quarantine requirement for individuals exposed to COVID-19 in child care and K-12 settings. Individuals who test positive must be excluded from child care and isolate at home for 5 days. They may then return when symptoms are resolving and fever-free for 24 hours. When returning to care, that individual should wear a well-fitting mask in child care and public settings for 5 days after their isolation started. Early education and child care programs must notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they develop symptoms or test positive. Early education and child care programs may choose to impose stricter isolation, quarantine or masking requirements.
Q: Does a child care program need to close if there’s a positive COVID-19 case? If so, for how long?
ELD does not require closure of programs. However, a program may need to close if there are too many staff excluded for isolation maintain operations and staffing ratios.
Q: What are child care providers required to communicate to families if there is a positive COVID-19 case? – Updated September 26, 2022
Early education and child care programs must notify families of an exposure so they can watch for symptoms, but children/staff exposed do not need to be excluded unless they are symptomatic or positive.
Q: Can a parent ask if a child care staff member is vaccinated?
The Early Learning Division does not have authority to determine if parents are allowed to ask vaccination status. A provider or staff member may choose to answer or not.
Q: Are masks still required indoors? – Updated September 26, 2022
The statewide indoor mask requirement ended on March 11, 2022. A child care program can choose whether to require masks.
The Early Learning Division and the Oregon Health Authority in alignment with the Center for Disease Control, strongly recommend that masks be worn by all individuals age 2 and older indoors when:
- There are high levels of COVID-19 transmission in communities
- There are medium levels of COVID-19 transmission and individuals are:
- At high risk of COVID-19 hospitalization
- 65 and older or with underlying health conditions
- Living with people who have underlying health conditions.
Some programs may choose to continue universal masking at lower COVID-19 community levels because it promotes an inclusive and supportive environment for those children and staff who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19.
Q: Can a parent ask their child care program to support distance learning?
This is a business decision that should be made by individual programs.
Q: Are testing kits available to child care programs? – Updated September 26, 2022
Q: Can a provider accept an at home COVID-19 test?
Q: Can you explain what is a “well-fitting mask” for children?
It’s any mask that fits snuggly and the child will wear reliably.
Q: Where can I find additional resources?
Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean.
Q: Is daily symptom screening still recommended?
Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources (general): https://govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-resources
Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources: Supporting Families Prenatally to Age 5:
Q: Is daily symptom screening still recommended?
Daily screening is no longer required. However, staff and family should be aware of COVID-19 symptoms, and individuals should be excluded if symptoms develop. If symptomatic, it is recommended they get tested for C
Q: Are child care providers still required to notify Local Public Health if there is a positive COVID-19 case in their facility? – Updated September 26, 2022
Providers are required to notify the Local Public Health Authority immediately of unusually high levels of absenteeism (on any given day) due to respiratory illnesses (symptoms may include new cough, fever, shortness of breath, congestion/runny nose, new loss of taste or smell).
- In home-based child care programs, providers must report to Local Public Health Authority when there are three or more staff or children absent due to respiratory illness.
- In center-based, recorded, and school-based child care programs, providers must report to Local Public Health Authority when there are 10 or more staff or children absent due to respiratory illness.
- Programs do not need to report elevated absenteeism when there is a non-disease related reason (i.e., day before or after a holiday or long weekend, child care children are participating in an out of school activity, etc.).
PROVIDER INFORMATION SESSION RECORDINGS AVAILABLE
The Early Learning Division held provider information sessions on March 1 and March 2. In these sessions, ELD discussed the rulemaking process, feedback opportunities, and COVID-19 updates.
- Click here to view the March 1 (All Provider Types) English session.
- Click here to view the March 2 (All Provider Types) Spanish session.
INFANT FORMULA RECALL:
SIMILAC, ALIMENTUM AND ELECARE PRODUCTS
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating certain brands of powdered infant formula. If you use powdered infant formula, be aware certain Similac, Alimentum and EleCare products have been recalled and should not be used. Here’s how you can tell if you have any of those products:
The FDA recommends consumers look at the lot code, a multidigit number on the bottom of a container of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered infant formula and do not use if:
- the first two digits of the code are 22 through 37; and
- the code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2; and
- the expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later.
In addition to products described above, Abbott Nutrition has recalled Similac PM 60/40 with a lot code of 27032K80 (can) / 27032K800 (case).
Click here for more information on infections reported, symptoms, and locations.
CELEBRATE WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
Women’s contributions to America are largely missing from the traditional American history narrative. In honor of Women’s History Month, the Early Learning Division gathered the resources listed below to highlight stories from women who have contributed through their work, creativity, and resolve.
- Browse Preschool Women’s History Month Educational Resources | Education.com
- Women’s History Month | WomensHistoryMonth.gov
- Discover Her Story | Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum
- National Women’s History Museum | WomensHistory.org
- Supportive Environmental Quality Underlying Adult Learning (SEQUAL) Survey
The deadline for the SEQUAL survey is Sunday, March 6, 2022. Look for an email from the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) and titled “SEQUAL Survey: Oregon Early Educators Share Your Voice.” This research was made possible by the Early Learning Division.
- Fire Safety Child Care Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC)
The Early Learning Division recently passed temporary fire safety rules to serve as an alternative to the Department of Consumer Business Services sprinkler requirement. ELD is interested in engaging family child care programs and parents/caregivers with children in family child care programs to join this committee. Applications are due Friday, March 11, 2022. Click here for more information and to apply.
- School-Age Child Care Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC)
If you are connected to school-age child care programs or interested in providing this type of care, please consider applying to join this committee. This type of care is also known as out-of-school-time (OST) care and before- and afterschool care programs. Applications are due Friday, March 11, 2022. Click here for more information and to apply.