Schools and Child Care Programs

 

Florida Schools, Colleges and Universities

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) is working closely with the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor COVID-19 and is actively working to ensure that the most up-to-date CDC guidance is quickly and accurately disseminated.

 

Florida Child Care Programs

Florida Department of Children and Families

Florida Department of Health

  • Florida’s Child Care Food Program (CCFP) intends to use all available program flexibilities and contingencies offered by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to serve program participants.
  • During an unexpected school closure, schools can leverage their participation in one of USDA’s summer meal programs to provide meals at no cost to students. Under normal circumstances, those meals must be served in a group setting.
  • However, in a public health emergency, the law allows USDA the authority to waive the group setting meal requirement, which is vital during a social distancing situation. CCFP is working with USDA to issue waivers to ease program operations and protect the health of participants.
  • Find participating CCFP providers in your area.

 

Things Schools and Child Care Programs Should Do Now

At All Times
  • Post the signs and symptoms of COVID-19: fever, cough, shortness of breath.
  • Encourage people to stay home when sick.
  • Clean surfaces that are frequently touched – things such as shared desks, countertops, kitchen areas, electronics, and doorknobs.
  • Limit events and meetings that require close contact.
  • Stay up to date on developments in your community.
  • Create an emergency plan for possible outbreak.
  • Assess if community members are at higher risk and plan accordingly.
During an Outbreak in your Area
  • Send home or separate anyone who becomes sick.
  • If you identify a case, inform people who might have been exposed.
  • Continue to safely clean and disinfect the person’s area.
  • Connect with your local health departments.
  • Cancel large meetings or events.
  • Put your infectious disease outbreak plan into action.
Specific Guidance for Schools and Child Care Programs
  • Make hand cleaning supplies readily available.
  • Encourage students and staff to stay home if sick.
  • Monitor absenteeism.
  • Plan for digital and distance learning.
  • Be prepared to temporarily dismiss or close schools and cancel events.
    • Short-term dismissals for cleaning and contact tracing if you have a case.
    • Longer dismissals if you have substantial spread in your area.
  • Plan ways to continue student services such as school meal programs if schools close.
  • Stagger staffing or schedules to reduce in-person interaction.
  • Work with your local health department for guidance on closures and re-openings.

See more information about schools and child care programs.

The virus most likely originally emerged from an animal source and now spreads from person-to-person. Like the common cold, it is spread by droplets, often generated when a person sneezes or coughs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a list of EPA-registered disinfectant products that have qualified for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The list of disinfectant products can be found at https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2.

The length of time that the virus survives likely depends on factors. These factors could include the type of material or body fluid containing the virus and various environmental conditions such as temperature or humidity. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other institutions are designing standardized experiments to measure how long COVID-19 can survive in situations that simulate natural environmental conditions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization are reliable and up-to-date sources of information about this evolving outbreak.

For Florida specific information, please consult the Florida Department of Health website: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/