CDC COVID CONSIDERATIONS – Last updated June 2023 (following CDC’s May 2023 revisions to guidance).
SSDS continues to take precautions as we navigate COVID in a preschool setting. Thank you for joining us in this responsibility to keep our community safe.
As we have experienced throughout the pandemic, the situation continues to evolve and be ever changing. It is important to be flexible based on recommendations + guidelines from the county, state, and CDC. Below is an overview of our current COVID protocols as well as safety measures in regards to programming and parent participation for the school year. We will continue to be informed and guided by our local and CDC guidance for early childhood programs and make any updates as necessary. Therefore, these COVID considerations are subject to change.
Staying Up To Date on Vaccinations
- COVID vaccination required for all staff (including subs), parents who are participating in the classroom, and summer volunteers — with the exception of any people with medical conditions who cannot be vaccinated. Should we have a staff person, parent participant or summer volunteer with a medical exemption then we will require regular and frequent testing.
- SSDS strongly recommends that children be vaccinated now that the vaccine for 5 years and under is available. Currently COVID vaccination is not required for children.
- For guidance on available vaccinations and staying up to date with COVID vaccinations, please link to CDC’s guidance.
Staying Home When Sick
- All staff, students, participants, and adults who enter the building for drop off and pick up must self-monitor for symptoms daily. If at any time COVID symptoms develop, the family or staff member should immediately notify the SSDS office, test for COVID, and contact their healthcare provider (if necessary).
- When children or staff are showing any symptoms, including a runny nose/congestion, we are requiring a negative Covid test and significantly improved symptoms to return to school. COVID aside, children and staff can return following a fever, vomiting, and diarrhea after being symptom-free for 24 hours without symptom-reducing medicine.
- Children who develop symptoms during the day will be separated from the group. Parents will be called for pick up. Staff and Parent Participants will be separated and will go home as well, should they develop symptoms.
- Masking is optional both inside and outside. We will support and work with families with their individual choices. We understand that family masking decisions may change, please communicate with your teacher and the SSDS office at any point so that we can support you throughout the year.
- In some instances, such as if there is an outbreak or increased transmission within our school or our area moves into a High Community Level, we may require universal indoor masking. We will follow the guidance of CDC and our local health departments.
- In an instance of exposure outside of school and regardless of vaccination status, an individual is required to mask consistently in school for 10 days and get tested at least 5 full days after last exposure. Should the exposure be a household member, SSDS will work with you to determine returning to school depending on the specific circumstances of continued exposure.
- If there is a class exposure, all individuals in the class and regardless of vaccination status will mask consistently for 10 days and get tested at least 5 full days after last exposure. See below for isolation guidance for any individuals who test positive.
When to Get Tested
- If you have symptoms, test immediately.
- When you have been exposed, follow CDC guidance for testing.
- When our area moves to a high COVID community level we may consider implementing regular weekly testing for staff and children.
- From CDC guidance, when you get tested: make sure to test at the right time, choose the right test for your circumstances, and follow test recommendations by FDA. Also, please be sure that any at-home test used is authorized for 2+ and EUA authorized (such as iHealth or BinaxNOW).
Exposure, Testing Positive, and Quarantine or Isolation
- When individuals are directly exposed as close contacts or test positive, we follow CDC guidance. If MSDE has additional guidance for schools we will follow their guidance. In all instances, please call the school main number or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If an individual is exposed outside of school, the individual is required to mask consistently in school for 10 days and get tested at least 5 full days after last exposure. Should the exposure be a household member, SSDS will work with you to determine returning to school depending on specific circumstances of continued exposure.
- If there is a class exposure, all individuals in the class will mask consistently for 10 days and get tested at least 5 full days after last exposure.
- In the case of testing positive, regardless of vaccination status, the individual must stay home for at least 5 days. Ending isolation after day 5 depends on individual circumstances.
- What to do after day 5 in the instance of a child who has tested positive, link here for the isolation flowchart specific to children in early education programs such as ours.
- What to do after day 5 in the instance of all other individuals who have tested positive, link here for the general CDC isolation flowchart.
- In both instances, if determined that the individual can return after day 5 then:
- Symptoms must have significantly improved (if symptoms occurred); and
- They must wear a well-fitted mask upon return through day 10 from after symptoms started or the date of when the positive test was taken if no symptoms occurred. However, between days 6-10, an individual who has two negative antigen tests 48 hours apart can return without needing to wear a mask.
- SSDS will continue to monitor and track exposures and when an individual at SSDS tests positive. Therefore, it is very important that families and staff communicate directly with the Admin Team in all instances. Also, we will continue to send courtesy COVID notifications to classes with possible exposure.
Ventilation Systems, Hand Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection
- Windows and fans/air purifiers available in all classrooms for circulation, and updated AC/heating systems.
- More hand washing will be built into the day.
- Continued deep cleans at the end of the day and throughout the year.
- Thorough bathroom wipe downs.
Local and National COVID Resources
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
- Maryland Department of Health
- Montgomery County COVID Dashboard
We will continue to follow general CDC guidance and to work with the Health Department as well as be guided by MSDE COVID guidance & CDC guidance for early childhood/preschool centers and update as necessary. We appreciate your patience during this time as we continue to evaluate and consider our necessary steps for a safe year.
Please reach out to the Director or SSDS Admin Team with any additional questions or concerns in regards to our COVID protocols + safety plans.