Announcement C-21-11

Subject: Addition of COVID-19 to List of Reportable Communicable Diseases

To:

  • All DHS Certified Child Care Facilities
  • Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs)
  • Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) Staff

From:

Tracey Campanini
Deputy Secretary, Office of Child Development & Early Learning

Issue Date: Dec. 20, 2021
Effective Date: Dec. 20, 2021
End Date: N/A

View full announcement as a PDF. >

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Purpose

To notify child care facilities that the Pennsylvania (PA) Department of Health (DOH) has added COVID-19 to the list of reportable communicable diseases. To provide guidance on the requirements of child care providers for child or facility person return to the child care facility after having a communicable disease, specifically COVID-19.

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Background

The PA DOH maintains a list of reportable diseases and COVID-19 was added to the list. PA DOH requires that COVID-19 be reported within 24 hours. An updated list of reportable diseases is available on the PA Dept. of Health website. After a child or facility person contracts or is showing symptoms of a communicable disease or infection, the child care provider must exclude that person from the facility and must receive notification from a physician or a nurse practitioner (CRNP) that the person is no longer considered a threat to the health of others before the child or facility person may return to the facility.

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Discussion

With the addition of COVID-19 to the list of reportable communicable diseases, child care providers must adhere to the certification regulations under child and adult health found in 55 Pa. Code Chapters § 3270, § 3280, and § 3290.

55 Pa. Code § 3270.137, § 3280.137, and § 3290.137, relating to child health, states: “an operator who observes an enrolled child with symptoms of a communicable disease or infection that can be transmitted directly or indirectly and which may threaten the health of children in care shall exclude the child from attendance until the operator receives notification from a physician or a CRNP that the child is no longer considered a threat to the health of others.”

55 Pa. Code §3270.153, §3280.153, and §3290.153, relating to adult health, states: “A facility person with symptoms of a communicable disease or infection that can be transmitted directly or indirectly and which may threaten the health of children in care shall be excluded from attendance until the facility operator receives notification from a physician or CRNP that the person is no longer considered a threat to the health of others.”

Any child or facility person reporting positive test results or showing symptoms of COVID-19 cannot be in attendance at the child care facility. Upon return, the individual must provide a written note or a negative test result signed and verified by a physician or nurse practitioner (CRNP) clearing them to return to the child care facility. A home test or any other negative test results that have not been reviewed, signed and verified by a physician or CRNP will not be acceptable for a child or a facility person to return to
the child care facility.

Certification staff will review child and facility person files to ensure compliance with the regulations. The citations for non-compliance with the regulations pertaining to children and facility persons with symptoms of disease will be issued under 55 Pa. Code § 3270.137; § 3280.137, § 3290.137, §3270.153, §3280.153, and §3290.153. Additional citations are included with this announcement as Appendix A: Communicable Diseases Certification Requirements: OCDEL Guidance Chart (PDF).

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Next Steps

Certified child care facilities must:

  1. Read this Announcement and share with appropriate staff.
  2. Ensure compliance of the facility with the reporting and retention requirements in this announcement.
  3. Review the PA Dept. of Health website for updates to the list of reportable diseases.

Questions? Contact your Regional Certification Office.

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View full announcement as a PDF. >