Current COVID Info

While FCCAM is not telling providers what to do in regards to their illness management policy, we do want to remind providers to consider ages of children in care regarding available vaccinations for age 5 and up, masking is NO for age 2 and younger, and NO while napping. Masking in the current CDC guidance means “at all times/continual”.

Covid Testing in Maine – information on testing guidance, types of tests and testing locations

COVID 19 Child Care Guidance Webinar (18 min.) – 3/11/22 explanation of updated guidance from DHHS OCFS

March 16, 2022, “TEST to STAY” – to order a supply of at-home rapid tests for children enrolled in your program child care providers MUST place their order between Wednesday, March 16, 2022 8am and Monday, March 21st 5pm. Child care providers can order one at-home test kit, containing 5 individual tests, for every child enrolled in their facility. Pick-up between March 28th and April 8th at your closest DHHS District Office. For more information and to place an order, please use this online form.

“Test to Stay” Guidelines FAQs ~ This memorandum from OCFS on 3/29/22 addresses some of the questions that providers and families have been asking since the 3/16 guideline update was released.


Effective March 15, 2022, the Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) will discontinue updating the COVID-19 Child Care Guidance located on the OCFS COVID Response webpage.   Visit current source documents on the State of Maine’s COVID-19 Response website for the latest COVID-19 guidance and information. 

Maine CDC has updated the Isolation and Quarantine guidance for child care programs to include an option for “Test to Stay.” Test to Stay is a practice encompassing contact tracing and serial testing to allow close contacts of confirmed cases who are not fully vaccinated to continue attending child care and avoid quarantine. Effective March 16, 2022, Maine child care settings may implement Test to Stay as outlined by the Maine CDC. 

Test to Stay Using At-Home Rapid Antigen Tests

  1. For children 2 years of age and older who can wear a mask:
    • A child exposed to COVID-19 can continue to attend the early care and education program provided all of the following conditions are met:
    o The child is asymptomatic.
    o The child has a negative at-home rapid antigen test result on days 1, 3, 5 after exposure (exposure is day 0). These tests should be administered by the parent or guardian before the child goes to the early care and education program.
    o The child wears a well-fitted mask for 10 days after the exposure, per the mask guidance for quarantine outlined above.
    • In general, children who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 and who can wear a mask should not be retested for 90 days following the date of the positive test result, and do not need to quarantine if exposed again during this time period. However, a child who develops new onset of symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection during the 90-day period following the initial positive test collection date should be retested. The child should follow guidance outlined above in the section addressing isolation.
  2. For children under 2 years of age and for children of any age who cannot wear a mask:
    • A child exposed to COVID-19 can continue attending the early care and education program provided both of the following conditions are met:
    o The child is asymptomatic.
    o The child has a negative at-home rapid antigen test result on days 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 after exposure (exposure is day 0). These tests should be administered by the parent or guardian before the child goes to the early care and education facility.
    • In general, children who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 and who can wear a mask should not be retested for 90 days following the date of the positive test result, and do not need to quarantine if exposed again during this time period. However, a child who develops new onset of symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection during the 90-day period following the initial positive test collection date should be retested. The child should follow guidance outlined above in the section addressing isolation.
    • At this time, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved or authorized any at-home rapid antigen test for use in children under 2 years of age. Nonetheless, Maine CDC believes that at-home rapid antigen tests are safe and effective for use in children under 2 years of age. Maine CDC recommends that parents or guardians deciding to test children under 2 years of age administer the at-home rapid antigen test, not the early care and education provider.

March 2, 2022 Changes to Child Care Mask Guidance

January 26, 2022: Interim Guidance for Child Care ProvidersThis is Interim Guidance pending updated Child Care Guidance from U.S. CDC. This document incorporates current source documents from U.S. CDC, Maine CDC, and Maine’s COVID-19 Response websites, and aligns with Maine DOE guidance.

Highlights of changes:


Jan. 7, 2022 Maine CDC: General population guidance from Maine CDC aligning with national CDC guidance.

Dec. 27, 2021 Updated CDC Guidance

November 15, 2021 Updated Guidance for Child Care Providers

The majority of children enrolled in childcare are not yet age eligible for a vaccine. Vaccination and masking is not at this time mandated for programs, but OCFS continues to encourage vaccination for all eligible individuals and implementing recommended practices to prevent the spread of COVID.

The following pulled notes are not all inclusive, so providers are encouraged to read the 9/30 letter from OCFS linked above.

Masking: It is strongly encouraged for child care programs who are not currently masking to implement the use of face coverings for staff and children age 2 and up indoors regardless of vaccination status.

Quarantine
• For someone who had close contact (not fully vaccinated): Stay home for 10 days after your last contact, monitor for symptoms for 4 more days. A negative test result does not change the quarantine requirement.
• For fully vaccinated close contacts: Get a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after exposure and wear a face covering in indoor public spaces for 14 days (or until you receive negative test results). You do not need to quarantine. Check your temperature twice a day and monitor for symptoms.
Isolation
For someone who tested positive for COVID-19: Stay home until you meet the criteria for release from isolation.
For symptomatic individuals: Stay home for 10 days from the start of symptoms with the exception of seeking medical care and testing. Call before going to see a healthcare provider and let them know you are symptomatic.


Below is general information from Maine CDC / Division of Disease Surveillance around COVID and child care ~

Recommendations for Daycare/Childcare Facilities (packet) with COVID-19 Positive Staff or Children:

Maine CDC may not follow up individually with every person who tests positive in Maine. Maine CDC is also no longer providing release from isolation and release from quarantine letters. Please follow these recommendations for positive COVID-19 cases:

  • COVID-19 positive individuals must self-isolate at home. If the positive case is not already at home, they need to go home immediately and isolate. They cannot go out to any public places (grocery store, gas station, bank, etc.). Follow the instructions in “What is isolation?” on page 3.
  • The positive individual cannot leave isolation until they meet the criteria listed in “Release from isolation criteria” on page 4.
  • Action items for the childcare facility are detailed in the document “Childcare: What if a child or staff member tests positive?” on page 5.
  • Close contacts to the positive individual who are not fully vaccinated need to quarantine, including household members.
    • The positive individual should notify their close contacts of the exposure and that they need to quarantine.
    • A close contact is:
      • Anyone the positive person was within 6 feet of for 15 cumulative minutes or more over a 24-hour period. This starts 48 hours before symptoms started (or before the positive test was taken for asymptomatic people).
      • Anyone who provides care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
      • Anyone who had direct physical contact with an infectious person (ex: hugging/kissing).
      • Anyone who shared eating or drinking utensils with someone with COVID-19.
      • Anyone who was exposed to respiratory droplets from an infectious person (ex:sneezed or coughed on).
    • If the positive individual is not completely isolated from other people in their household, then household contacts must remain in quarantine until 10 days after the positive case is released from isolation.
    • Follow the guidance in “What is quarantine?” on page 6.
  • Household members and other close contacts can leave quarantine when they meet the criteria listed in “Ending Quarantine” on page 7.
  • A person is considered fully vaccinated after 14 days following the completion of a COVID-19 vaccination series. Follow the guidance in “Quarantine Guidance for Vaccinated Close Contact” on page 8.
  • If you have questions about who is allowed at the daycare/childcare facility, please see the document “Childcare: Who can be in my facility?” on page 9.
  • Support is available for people in COVID-19 isolation and quarantine. This could include temporary help ranging from food, shelter, income and rent, to interpretation, cultural brokering, and psychosocial support.
  • The Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) has guidance available for Maine Child Care Providers. Please go to the “Child Care Licensing” dropdown and click the most recent version titled “Updated Guidance for Maine Child Care Providers” on this page: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/COVID-19-response.shtml.
  • Maine CDC recommends that symptomatic individuals and close contacts get tested. Close contacts should get tested immediately upon finding out they are a close contact and 5-7 days after exposure. A negative test does not allow the close contact to leave quarantine early. Follow the recommendations in “Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in Maine?” on page 10.

Maine COVID-19 Prevention Checklist: Industry Guidance


Who should or should not wear a mask

Masks should be worn (4/19/2021 CDC guidance):

  • By people 2 years of age and older
  • Any time you are in a public setting
  • Any time you are traveling on a plane, bus, train, or other form of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations
  • When you are around people who do not live with you, including inside your home or inside someone else’s home
  • Inside your home if someone you live with is sick with symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19

CDC recognizes there are specific instances when wearing a mask may not be feasible. In these instances, consider adaptations and alternatives.

The following categories of people are exempt from the requirement to wear a mask:

  • A child under the age of 2 years;
  • A person with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, for reasons related to the disability;
  • A person for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by the workplace risk assessmentexternal icon.

U.S. CDC also has Interim Guidance for Administrators of K-12 Schools and Child Care Programs available. This guidance should be used in collaboration with Guidance from Maine’s Department of Education (Maine DOE) webpage for COVID-19.