The guidance on this page is intended for childcare and preschool settings and was last updated on 3/28/2022.
OCHD also offers guidance specific to K-12 schools, along with answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) for both K-12 schools and childcare and preschools, that can be found here.
Responding to COVID-19 in Childcares and Preschools
Childcare centers and preschools should follow guidance from LARA (updated 3/11/2021) which is based on the MDHHS guidance for K-12 schools. Preschools and childcare centers are higher risk settings than a typical K-12 classroom, and schools are encouraged to use additional strategies as part of a layered mitigation approach. For example, keeping windows open when possible and using a Test to Stay approach following a classroom exposure to the virus. More recommendations are available from CDC.
If a Child or Teacher Tests Positive or is Exposed to COVID-19
Recommendations for quarantine and isolation in childcare and preschool settings can be summarized as follows:
- For children aged 2 and older and staff who can wear masks following an exposure, centers should follow the K-12 guidance.
- For children younger than 2 or those that are unable or unwilling to mask, we recommend more caution:
- Stay home for 10 days if they have COVID-19 (Day 0 is the day they started having symptoms or the day they were tested)
- If exposed to a household/personal close contact, stay home for 10 days.
- At the center's discretion, children of all ages may continue attending school following a classroom exposure. Children should be monitored closely for symptoms and mask use encouraged for children aged 2 and older.
- Test to Stay can add an additional layer of protection.
- Childcare centers that are interested in receiving tests to send home with children may be eligible for free home tests from the MDHHS "MI Backpack" program. For more information, email: MDHHS-COVIDTestingSupport@michigan.gov
Masks During Low Community Level
Oakland County is currently at a low community level of COVID-19, so universal masking is not currently recommended. However, anyone may choose to mask or have their children (age 2 and older) mask at any level. In determining an approach to masking, centers are encouraged to consider the particular needs of the children and staff in the center community, including factors such as vaccination status and underlying health conditions. Childcare centers that choose not to continue masking are encouraged to adopt other layered strategies such as vaccination for those who are eligible, improved ventilation, keeping children home while sick, and social distancing. Masks should still be used for anyone (age 2 and older) who has symptoms, has been recently exposed to COVID-19, or has recently been infected with COVID-19.
If your childcare center is facing a difficult COVID-19 response decision or if you have questions about our guidance, please don't hesitate to contact our epidemiology team for a consultation: 248-858-1286 or email@example.com.
Reporting cases to OCHD
Reporting Positive COVID-19 Cases in Childcares Spreadsheet
- Contact Oakland County Communicable Disease Unit at 248-858-1286 if unable to use spreadsheet or for any questions.
- Complete and submit a reporting form for each child or staff member who has COVID-19. This includes those who have tested positive on PCR tests, rapid tests, or at-home tests.
- If any of the case's childcare center-related contacts test positive or develop symptoms during quarantine, submit another reporting form. You may leave the close contact section blank if there are no new close contacts.
- You do not need to report cases among parents/household members of children.
- Note that the form will automatically calculate a 10-day quarantine for all close contacts. Some contacts may be eligible for shortened quarantine, see above for more information.