COVID-19 Guidance

Connecticut’s COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration ended on May 11, 2023.

However, COVID-19 remains a health risk to families across the state. OEC continues to recommend that child care and youth camp programs follow:

  • Best practices related to health and hygiene
  • Current COVID-19 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and other federal and state agencies


OEC recommends:

  • Mask-wearing in child care programs and youth camps based on community transmission levels 
  • Programs have a written policy regarding mask wearing that they share with families and staff
  • Programs partner with families who want their child to wear a mask, even if it’s not required (for example, because they have immune-compromised family member at home or want to stay healthy before a vacation)
How to help young children wear masks

This flyer about helping young children wear masks includes important information and resources you can share with families. You can also add some strategies to support children’s social and emotional development.

OEC COVID-19 Memos

Read the final COVID-19 memo about the end of the public health emergency declaration.

You can also explore our archive of expired memos.

Quarantine and isolation

Staff and families who test positive — or who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 — should use the CDC Quarantine/Isolation Calculator. It will give them an estimate of what precautions they need to take.


Child care centers, group child care homes, and youth camps are required to report cases of COVID-19. Learn more about disease reporting.

Note that as of July 1, 2023, the process has changed. Programs don’t need to report positive cases of on a weekly basis. Instead, COVID-19 cases must be reported the same way as any other disease on the reportable disease list. The DPH weekly COVID-19 reporting form has been retired.


OEC recommends:

  • Staff should test themselves for COVID-19 if they have symptoms or have been exposed and follow CDC guidance
  • Staff should not administer COVID-19 tests to children enrolled in their programs — instead, ask an adult in the child’s family to test the child


Test-Mask-Go is an optional strategy to increase the amount of time children and staff can attend child care programs and youth camps. It allows children and staff with mild symptoms the option to attend or work in your program. Learn more about Test-Mask-Go.


The Department of Public Health continues to recommend vaccination as the safest way to combat COVID-19. Child care programs and youth camps should encourage all children and staff to get up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations

  • Staff working in child care programs and children attending them are not required to have the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Programs can choose to adopt a policy that requires staff to get the vaccine
    • Programs may want to consult their own legal counsel first
    • Licensing inspectors must be granted immediate access to the facility upon request and cannot be denied access if they have not received the vaccine
    • Parents of children enrolled in the program must also be granted immediate access to the facility unless otherwise prohibited by law or court order

Note that:

  • CDC recommends that children age 6 months and older get the vaccine
  • The Department of Public Health states that getting the vaccine is the safest way to combat COVID-19 pandemic
  • For more information, visit the CT Vaccine Portal Knowledge Base
Last updated July 31, 2023