Child Care Services FAQs
Telebriefing Q&A Reports
Please click a telebriefing date below to view the Q&A report.
Q&A Emergency Telebriefing 07/07/21
Click here to view answers to questions submitted during the telebriefing discussing the updated guidance for childcare providers.
Does the County have guidance regarding waiting 5 days prior to getting
a Covid test following close contact with someone that has covid-19?
Similar to recent CDC guidance.
Yes, close contacts need to be quarantined for 14 days after last exposure regardless of their test result. Median time to symptom onset or the median incubation period is 4-5 days as per CDC, so testing is locally being recommended around 5-7 days, unless the close contact becomes symptomatic earlier.
Can you be a carrier and still spread the disease?
Yes, CDC estimates over half of people with COVID-19 infection are asymptomatic. After vaccination the ability to spread disease is unknown, so that is why non pharmaceutical interventions (face coverings, social distancing, etc.) need to be continued even after getting vaccinated.
Is there a different guidance on quarantine for people that have
symptoms after they receive the vaccine? Staff who are receiving the
vaccine are having symptoms afterwards for just a day or two.
Quarantine is for people who have been exposed, but isolation is for people who have symptoms. There are some symptoms such as loss of taste/ smell that are *only* COVID-related, but there are other symptoms, like fatigue, that could be COVID OR could be vaccine-related. If symptoms persist or are specific to COVID, get tested for COVID. Receiving the vaccine will not cause you to test positive for COVID. Please refer to the 2/02/21 CAHAN update for more information.
Can more information be provided about the reason for changing the
return to school requirement from 72 to 24 hours after symptoms resolve?
It seems to contradict our efforts to reduce spread of non-COVID
illnesses during cold & flu season.
The change to 24 hours was to stay consistent with decision making occurring in schools (based on CDPH guidance [page 30-31]) and institutes of higher education. It is supported by CDPH guidance for childcare as well which indicates individuals with COVID-19 symptoms within the last 24 hours should be excluded.
Is a virtual (telehealth visit) Doctor’s note okay for a child to return
after being sick?
Yes. Take a picture of it for your center’s records or child’s chart for recording any chronic conditions, allergies, etc.
If a staff member has a household member who has been exposed, and
tested negative but is in quarantine – does the staff member need to be
excluded from coming to work?
Only direct contacts of a COVID-19 positive need to be excluded. A “contact of a contact” does not need to be excluded.
If a child or staff member is exposed to a positive COVID-19 case BUT
has previously had their own COVID-19 infection, do they need to be
Currently it is believed that an individual is not susceptible to re-infection until after 90 days post COVID-19 positive infection.
If a parent if exposed to COVID-19 do we need to exclude the child?
If the parent’s test result is positive, then the child should be tested AND quarantined for 10 days of parent’s contagious period (if the child continues to live with parent) plus 14 days of self-quarantine (24 days total).
If the parent’s test result is negative then the child can continue going to childcare, but the parent should be in quarantine for 14 days from their last contact with the positive case. If that parent is the only one who can drop off the child they should drop off with brief, masked, and distanced contact with staff.
Staff:Child Ratios and Face Covering Requirements
What are the Current Ratios for Children in Child Care Centers?
Child Care Facilities may return to Title 22 regulations on group sizes. However, it is strongly recommended that it is done slowly and cautiously. Adding more children increases the risk of an outbreak, and it is the responsibility of the provider to make sure guidelines are followed.
Cleaning & Sanitation
What are the recommended guidelines for facility sanitation?
Please follow the following guidance from the CDC:
What do we do if a child, staff or facility contact has a positive
Remember to report the incidents to the County, CCL and affected families.
- Report the case to the County
- If a child, staff or facility contact has tested positive for COVID-19 please contact the Epidemiology Unit by phone at (619) 692-8499. For urgent matters on evenings, weekends or holidays, dial (858) 565-5255 and ask for the Epidemiology Unit duty officer.
- Childcare providers are required to report to the local health office the presence or suspected present of any communicable diseases (click here for more information).
- Report the case to Community Care Licensing (CCL)
- If a child, staff or facility contact has tested positive for COVID-19 please contact your local CCL regional office within 24 hours. To reach a Licensing Duty Officer please call (619) 767-2200 and press #3
- Submit an Unusual Incident Report (LIC 624 or LIC624B) within 7 days of the report to your assigned Licensing Program Analyst or Regional Office, please include the contact with Epidemiology or Public Health Official with recommendations in your report.
- Follow CDC recommendations ( click here for more information):
- Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
- Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the areas.
- Wait up to 24 hours or as long as possible before you clean or disinfect to allow respiratory droplets to settle before cleaning and disinfecting.
- Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, and common areas.
- If more than 7 days have passed since the person who is sick visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary.
- Continue routine cleaning and disinfection.
- Report the case to the County
Hand Sanitizer Storage
Where should we store hand sanitizer?
A: From Title 22 Licensing Regulations
§ 101238(g). Buildings and Grounds: Disinfectants, cleaning solutions, poisons, and other items that could pose a danger if readily available to children shall be stored where inaccessible to children
§ 102417(g)(4). Operation of a Family Child Care Home: Poisons, detergents, cleaning compounds, medicines, firearms, and other items which could pose a danger if readily available to children, shall be stored where they are inaccessible to children.
From CDC—When and How to Wash Your Hands
Closely supervise young children when using hand sanitizer to prevent them from swallowing hand sanitizer because it can cause alcohol poisoning.
Why? Ethyl alcohol (ethanol)-based hand sanitizers are safe when used as directed, but they can cause alcohol poisoning if swallowed. Children may be particularly likely to swallow hand sanitizers that are scented, brightly colored, or attractively packaged. Hand sanitizers should be stored out of the reach of children and should only be used with adult supervision. Be aware that children might purposefully swallow hand sanitizers due to the high alcohol content. For more information please refer to the California Poison Control Organization.
Stay Up to Date
Is an antigen or antibody test for COVID-19 sufficient proof of a
negative COVID-19 diagnosis?
Antibody testing is not adequate for anything. Antigen testing is not preferred and PCR testing is recommended. The reasoning behind this is that antigen testing is not always accurate or specific per the County of San Diego’s Epidemiology Branch. In addition, antigen testing cannot tell you are negative and t is not as sensitive as PCR and prone to false positives.
In a symptomatic individual (a person who is experiencing symptoms), if that person received a positive antigen test, then that individual would be considered preliminary positive for COVID-19 and the antigen test would be sufficient proof of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
However, in an asymptomatic individual (a person who is not experiencing symptoms), if that person received a positive antigen test, then that individual would NOT be considered preliminary positive for COVID-19 and the antigen test would not be sufficient proof of a positive COVID-19 test. In this scenario, the individual would then need to follow up with a PCR test to make sure of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
An antigen test is less specific/accurate and only valid per our Epidemiology Department if a person is symptomatic, not asymptomatic. It is preferred and recommended to test for COVID-19 using a PCR test.
How do we stay up to date on COVID-19?
For further information, please see the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) webpage. You can find guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). CDSS and Community Care Licensing encourage you to visit these sites regularly as information and guidance may change frequently.
Additionally, there are resources for schools and child care programs on the CDC webpage. The Department will also communicate new and updated information related to child care facilities to providers through Provider Information Notices (PINs). Please sign up to be notified of new PINs here and visit the Department’s website for the latest PINs.
ECE Telebriefing Recordings
How do I receive the recording of the telebriefing?
Please email COVID-EarlyCare@sdcounty.ca.gov for a recording of the telebriefing. The link to the telebriefings expires one week after the telebriefing.