California Department of Public Health Releases New Guidance for Case and Contact Management for Childcare, and Return to Work/School After Covid-19; CDC Updates Travel Restrictions

CATEGORY: Special Bulletins
CLIENT TYPE: Private Education
PUBLICATION: LCW Special Bulletin
DATE: Aug 27, 2020

CDPH Guidance on Returning to Work or School Following COVID-19 Diagnosis

On Monday, August 24, 2020, the CDPH released Guidance on Returning to Work or School Following COVID-19 Diagnosis, which applies to individuals not in healthcare settings who have tested positive for COVID-19.  The CDPH guidance is consistent with current guidance on discontinuing home isolation issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and, in fact, the CDPH states it recommends adherence to current CDC guidance.

In the guidance, the CDPH does not recommend that schools require a negative SARS-CoV-2 test before an individual is permitted to return to work or school.  Instead, the guidance directs schools to adhere to the following time- and symptom-based approach:

  • Individuals who test positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and who have had symptoms, may return to work or school when:

>> At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, AND 

>> At least 24 hours have passed with no fever (without use of fever-reducing medications), AND 

>> Other symptoms have improved.

  • Individuals who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 who never develop symptoms, may return to work or school 10 days after the date of their first positive test for SARS-CoV-2.

The guidance also advises schools to refer to and follow guidance on returning to work and school following a positive COVID-19 test from their local health department, as those local entities may have different guidelines or requirements.

CDPH COVID-19 Guidance on Case and Contact Management Within Child Care Facilities

On Tuesday, August 25, 2020, the CDPH released guidance on COVID-19 Case and Contact Management for Childcare Facilities, which childcare facilities should use in conjunction with state and CDC guidance for childcare programs.  The guidance is intended for group care facilities for children who are not yet in kindergarten at an elementary school, including childcare centers, child development facilities, family childcare homes, and preschools as well as “transitional Kindergartens, pre-Kindergartens, and Kindergartens that are part of preschool programs or are independent of both preschool and elementary school programs.”

The guidance discusses case and contact management and considerations for closure of childcare facilities or classes/groups within the facility, and covers five topics, including:

  • Identifying COVID-19 cases;
  • When a COVID-19 case is identified;
  • Identifying exposed persons;
  • Testing recommendations;
  • When closure of an entire childcare facility should be considered; and
  • If a facility is closed, when may it reopen?

The CDPH intends to update the guidance as new information about COVID-19 transmission for children develops.

CDC Lifts Certain COVID-19 Related Travel Restrictions

On Friday, August 21, 2020, the CDC lifted its travel restriction requiring that individuals quarantine for a 14-day period after returning from international travel.  The CDC replaced the travel restriction with guidance on Travel During The COVID-19 Pandemic.  The CDC also maintains guidance on COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination, which is updated regularly.

Nevertheless, some local public health departments, cities, and counties have issued quarantine orders for those returning from travel to certain locations as well as other travel-related guidelines and restrictions.  Schools should check for travel-related guidelines and restrictions in place in their local area, which may be different from CDC guidelines.  Further, the State of California provides some guidance on travel, which can be found on the CDPH website here and on the State’s official COVID-19 website here.