As the number of positive COVID-19 tests increases, the Monroe County Health Department is strongly encouraging childcare providers to have children 2 and older wear masks.
In June, the state Department of Health said that children who have not entered kindergarten “do not need to wear face coverings when they are in child care,” and older children are “encouraged but not required to wear face coverings.”
However, Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Michael Mendoza said this strong encouragement of universal mask wearing could help control the current spread. He urged parents to talk with their childcare providers about this recommendation.
“This is particularly important for kindergartners on up, as it is a requirement in their schools,” Mendoza said. “I believe adherence to masking and social distancing in schools have made them among the safest places in our community. It makes sense to extend the school guidelines, as much as possible, to childcare settings.”
Since Oct 1, positive tests for at least one female and/or male younger than 10 years old have been reported by the county health department on 22 days. During that time, more than 40 children have tested positive.
Since Oct. 1, there has been only two days on which a positive test was not reported for children and teen ages 10 to 19. Since the beginning of the month, more than 200 children ages 10 to 19 have tested positive.
Multiple cases have been reported in all age groups on multiple days within the past two weeks.
Mendoza advised parents of children who qualify for a medical exemption from mask wearing to complete and submit a medical exemption form to their childcare provider. The form is available at www.monroecounty.gov/health-COVID-19.