I have COVID. Can my kids go to daycare?

If I have COVID-19, can I send my kids to daycare?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, have symptoms, or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, your child should not go to daycare.

Even though children may be less at risk for developing severe symptoms, they can still become infected and be contagious. Mild symptoms, such as runny nose or cough, or no symptoms at all are common among children. If they go to daycare, it is possible for them to spread the virus to their peers and teacher.

So when can they return to school? 

In general, children of all ages should follow the same quarantine guidelines as adults; 14 days of quarantine after their last day of close contact with someone who is a COVID-19 case or considered contagious at the time. Check with the CDC and your state public health authorities for options of reduced quarantine

If a sick parent is not able to isolate from their child, then the child must be quarantined for the duration of the parent’s isolation period AND additional 14 days beyond that. This is because the parent’s last day of isolation would be considered the child’s last day of exposure to the virus.

In short, children exposed to COVID-19 should not go to daycare because they can spread the virus even without symptoms. Children should follow the same guidelines for quarantine as adults who have been exposed.

Last update: February 10, 2021, 16:00 EST

Science review: SGB, ERS