Camps and schools will return to their regularly scheduled activities this summer and fall. The CDC and Kentucky’s Healthy at Work plan provides guidance, requirements, and suggestions on how reopening should occur. Social distancing will continue to be a key component of safety measures and, when possible, teleworking is still highly encouraged. In addition to social distancing, childcare service providers must meet the minimum requirements for safety, including: (1) wearing masks when in groups, (2) providing adequate hand sanitizer and encouraging hand washing, (3) ensuring proper sanitation, and (4) conducting daily temperature and health checks. During this process, childcare facilities may use waivers of liability, although these are likely of limited use and will not excuse gross negligence. Camps and schools should continue to follow the recommended guidelines at the state, local, and federal (CDC) levels to keep students, campers, and employees safe.
Childcare programs are required by the state to keep groups at a maximum of ten children, but registered and certified childcare providers should also be careful to adhere to the lower maximum requirements of their respective certifying bodies. Children must stay within the group to which they are assigned for the entire duration of the school or camp day, even during pick-up and drop-off. In the same regard, the state provides that the same staff members should work with the same children each day to reduce additional exposure. Childcare programs are required to stagger playground time between class groups, and are not allowed to take field trips nor hold center-wide family events. “Lost and found” bins and water fountains should not be used during this time. In addition to creating six (6) foot social distancing demarcations on the ground, camps and schools should encourage adults to wear face coverings or masks during pick-up and drop-off.
Each childcare program, camp, and school should create a cleaning and sanitizing plan that follows CDC guidelines on suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. Childcare programs may not offer transportation during this time; however, when the public school system resumes classes, transportation policies should model the Kentucky Department of Education’s policies.
Upon entry into a childcare program, adults and children must be screened for fever and contagious symptoms. If employees of a childcare program show symptoms, they must be tested for COVID-19. If children show symptoms, they must be secluded immediately and removed from the childcare facility by a parent or guardian within one hour. Within six (6) feet of another person, childcare program employees must wear masks. Additionally, masks and gloves must be worn when employees prepare food, and food must be served individually (not cafeteria-style). However, children under the age of five (5) should not wear masks due to risks of suffocation and strangulation. Childcare facilities must have required cleaning supplies on site before reopening facilities and employees must take a refresher training on cleaning and sanitizing procedures by June 30, 2021.
*DBL Law clerk Asa Bell contributed to this article.« Back to news