Children 5 and Older Must Wear Masks in Childcare Settings
An updated directive from the Mills' administration requires children 5 and over to wear face coverings in child care facilities.
The guidelines for these businesses were updated on Friday, including the mask requirement. Masks are also encouraged for children ages 2 to 4, but it's not a requirement. The face coverings can come off when staff and children are outside, if social distancing is maintained. But if there's not enough room for the proper physical distancing, masks will still be required. In addition, anyone entering the facility will have to wear face coverings.
More guidelines include:
- Face coverings should NOT be put on babies under 2 years of age due to a risk of suffocation.
- Children should be taught proper hand washing and it should be reinforced throughout the day, as well as staff and children covering their coughs and sneezes.
- Staff and children should be reminded not to touch their face covering.
- Information should be provided to all staff, children, and parents on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
- Facilities should be kept stocked with healthy hygiene supplies, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use sanitizer), paper towels, and tissues.
- Post signage about how to stop the spread of COVID-19, proper hand washing, etc.
Further guidelines include detailing when children and staff should be washing their hands and the importance of daily health screenings. Child care providers should encourage parents to be alert to any symptoms that may indicate illness.
One daycare provider, Camelia Babson-Haley, told Newscenter Maine that the kids are struggling with it. She said that they're telling the children if they need a break from their face covering, they can go out on the playground. But, if they do, they're going to be going there by themselves, without their friends."
The updated guidelines can be found online.