Recommendations for Child Care Settings with COVID-19 Positive Staff or Children:

Find the latest updates on Guidance for COVID in Child Care Setting in our Current Covid Info section.

Following is the Maine CDC’s recommendation packet for child care settings with COVID-19 Positive Staff or Children. The 15 page packet includes written information and pdf charts. This information for providers can help form your illness policy, can be posted onsite and/or shared with families.


Maine CDC may not follow up individually with every person who tests positive in Maine. Please follow these recommendations for positive COVID-19 cases:

  • COVID-19 positive individuals must self-isolate at home, regardless of vaccination status.
    • 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.). For instructions on how to isolate, see “What is isolation?”.
    • Use the isolation flowchart, “I tested positive for COVID-19. Now what?”.
    • The positive individual cannot leave isolation until they meet the criteria listed in “Ending COVID-19 Isolation in Non-Healthcare Settings”.
    • Work with the individual directly to determine when they can leave isolation and return to work or childcare.
    • More information about isolation can be found from US CDC here: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html.
  • Action items for the childcare facility are detailed in the document “Childcare: What if a child or staff member tests positive”.
  • Information for deciding who can be in the childcare facility are detailed in “Childcare: Who can be in my facility?”.
  • Maine CDC does not recommend that childcare facilities require a negative test to return for individuals who test positive.
  • Close contacts of the positive individual may need to quarantine, including household members.
    • The positive individual or parent should notify their close contacts of the exposure. Childcare facilities are responsible to inform staff and parents of children of their exposure.
    • 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 their symptoms started (or before their positive test was taken if they are asymptomatic).
      • Anyone who provides care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
      • Anyone who had direct physical contact with an infectious person (example: hugging/kissing).
      • Anyone who shared eating or drinking utensils with the positive person.
      • Anyone who was exposed to respiratory droplets from an infectious person (example: sneezed or coughed on).
    • Use the quarantine flow chart “I am a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Now what?” to understand who needs to quarantine.
    • If the positive individual is not completely isolated from other people in their household, then household contacts may need to quarantine for a longer period. See “COVID-19 Ongoing Exposure: What if you live with your close contacts?”.
    • For instructions on how to quarantine, see “What is quarantine?”.
    • Household members and other close contacts can leave quarantine when they meet the criteria listed in “Ending Quarantine If You Are Exposed to a COVID-19 Case”.
    • Work with the individual directly to determine when they can leave quarantine and return.
    • If close contacts are healthcare workers, they should work with their employer using this guidance from US CDC to determine their quarantine requirements: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html.
    • Children who attend school may not need to quarantine from school, though they may need to quarantine outside of school. Parents should work with their school to understand whether their child needs to quarantine based on the “Standard Operating Procedures for Responding to a Positive Case in Schools.” (www.maine.gov/doe/covid-19/sop)
  • 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.
  • Testing
    • Symptomatic individuals and close contacts are recommended to get a COVID-19 test. Close contacts should get a test as soon as they find out about their close contact and on day 5 after their last exposure. Follow the recommendations in “Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in Maine?”.
    • Testing resources for childcare facilities may be available through the Office of Child and Family Services. Refer to the information in the Updated Guidance for Childcare Providers for more information: www.maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/ocfs-covid-response.
  • Maine CDC developed a document of frequently asked questions that childcare facilities are welcome to use to answer any questions: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectiousdisease/epi/airborne/documents/frequently-asked-questions.pdf.
  • Stressed by COVID-19? Resources exist to help everyone cope with stress during this time. More information is available in “Mental Health Resources During COVID-19”.