Twice a week I receive updates from the Public Health Specialist/COVID-19 School & Child Care Liaison. These updates include the number of cases, testing, hospitalizations, trends happening in Dane County, vaccination updates and often questions and answers.
With rising COVID cases, both for people vaccinated and not vaccinated, many teachers have been asking me if we need to be masked outside again. This is a tough answer as I understand how nice it is to be able to breathe without it outside. After a meeting with LCLAs owners yesterday and an update email from Public Health today we are going to ask that if teachers are within six feet of children that they wear their mask. This is also important for drop off and pick up outside. If the teachers and parents are within six feet of each other while talking and getting updates we ask that parents and teachers have their mask on. This is even more important for families that do pickup in our entry ways as well.
As always thank you for your patience as we navigate this together and we work hard to protect you and your children. See below for the Question & Answer from my Public Health update today.
Question & Answer
Question: What is your recommendation for masking during outside periods? I told the group that our recommendation for masking applied to being indoors and that I was unaware of masking guidance when outdoors.
Answer: Masks are encouraged for people in crowded outdoor settings. This is going to have to be a cost-risk analysis for each child care center. We recognize the benefits of allowing children and staff to be unmasked throughout the day, but we also have to accept the inherent risk that comes with being unmasked. If possible, we would strongly encourage you to keep kids age 2+ spaced 6’ apart when masks are off, which includes outdoors.