Quarantine rules ease for Oregon child care providers

Teacher Allie West leads a craft activity at the Oregon Child Development Coalition’s North Lancaster preschool on March 20, 2020 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Covid quarantine requirements in Oregon preschools and child care facilities will loosen March 12, mirroring changes planned for K-12 schools.

Starting on that date, kids or employees exposed to Covid won’t have to quarantine unless they develop symptoms of illness or test positive for the virus, Early Learning Division spokeswoman Melanie Mesaros said.

People who get sick with Covid or test positive for the virus should quarantine at home for five days and then continue to wear a masks for five additional days, new division guidelines said.

Previously, state guidelines from the Early Learning Division required people exposed to Covid to quarantine for 10 days in child care facilities where masks are not universally worn.

The end of Oregon’s statewide mask mandate on March 12 will also apply to child care and preschool. Currently, kids younger than kindergarten age are not required to wear masks in public, though the Oregon Health Authority recommends masks for all children age two and older.

Mesaros said any child care facility may choose to impose more strict quarantine or mask requirements.

-Rachel Alexander