If a parent or a sole caregiver has COVID-19

Everyone in the home should practice everyday preventive actions.  Those in the home who are sick with COVID-19 should follow CDC's guidance for what to do if you are sick and when it is safe to end your isolation.  If a child's parent or caregiver is sick with COVID-19, follow the steps below to help protect the child from infection.

Older children

The child should avoid physical contact with the sick parent or caregiver until all sick people have ended their home isolation.  For the child to safely have no intereaction with the parent or caregiver, the child should be old enough to legally be home alone and mature enough to care for themselves.

Children staying in the home with the sick parent or caregiver

If a child needs to stay in the home with you (the parent or caregiver who is sick):

--Both you and the child should wear a mask while in the same room

--Note that masks should not be placed on:

  • Children younger than 2 years old
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
  • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

--Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol and rub your hands together until they are dry.

--Try to stay 6 feet away from the child, if possible, and if safe.

--Increase ventilation by opening a window in the room that you are in.

--Disinfect any items that you need to bring to the child

--Do not disinfect food that you bring to the child

--Watch for symptoms.

  • During this time, caregivers should monitor themselves for symptoms.
  • Check the child's temperature twice a day and watch for symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, or symptoms specific to children.
  • If the child develops symtoms, call the child's healthcare provider for medical advice and follow the steps for caring for someone who is sick.

--If possible, the child should stay away from people who are at higher-risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

Children staying outside the home with a temporary caregiver

If the child will stay outside of their own home with a temporary caregiver, the new caregiver should help the child to quarantine and do the following:

--The child should stay inside the caregiver's home until 14 days after their last close contact with the sick person.

--Watch for symptoms

--If possible, the child should stay away from people who are at higher-risk for getting very sick from COVID-19

The caregiver should then quarantine for 14 days after the last day the caregiver had contact with the sick child. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/parents-caregivers.html