COVID-19 Policies | Metrowest YMCA | MetroWest YMCA

COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

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MetroWest YMCA COVID-19 Addendum for Early Learning Center, School’s Out, and Summer Camp

(Revised April 25, 2022)

The MetroWest YMCA Education team is pleased that we have been able to continue to serve our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  This addendum represents our latest protocols, and we are grateful for your patience and understanding as this document evolves.  As new information becomes available, we will continue to update our policies and procedures based on the recommendations of local, state, and federal organizations.The Y has developed a series of policies and procedures designed to help with prevention, identification, and containment/isolation.  Children, families, and Y staff will all have a role in minimizing the potential impact of COVID-19 on our community and we are optimistic that we will be successful in our efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy. 

The Y has developed a series of policies and procedures designed to help with prevention, identification, and containment/isolation.  Children, families, and Y staff will all have a role in minimizing the potential impact of COVID-19 on our community and we are optimistic that we will be successful in our efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy. 

The MetroWest YMCA strives to deliver consistently high quality programming that ensures the health and safety of the children and staff.  Here is a summary of the current strategies that we have in place for the prevention and response to COVID-19 in our Education programs:

Mitigation Strategies to Prevent Forward Transmission of COVID-19

  • Monitor for symptoms, stay home when sick and quarantine when exposed – Children with COVID-19 symptoms will not be able to attend the Early Learning Center, School’s Out, or summer camps.  They can return once they are symptom free for 24 hours without medication, can fully participate in the program, and have a negative COVID-19 test or they have a note from their health care provider saying that they are not contagious.  
  • Unvaccinated visitors, volunteers, and specialists limited in indoor program locations – To help prevent the potential exposure of COVID-19, families will continue to drop-off and pick-up their children in a clearly marked and designated area such as a program lobby and a Y staff member will escort the children to their classrooms or group.  While waiting for their children, families must stay at least 6 feet away from others or wear a mask.  Family members interested in coordinating in-person visits to classrooms/program spaces as well as virtual meetings with Y educators and staff should reach out to their child’s teacher or director to schedule.
  • Masks and physical distancing – The Y will implement all relevant mask requirements instituted by our local Boards of Health or state mandates.  Our School’s Out program participants and staff will follow the same guidelines that are enforced by the school districts that the children attend.  When there are no other mask mandates or requirements in place, the Y will enforce the following:
    • When indoors including during Y transportation, unvaccinated children over 2 years old, program participants, and adults are strongly encouraged to wear masks.  
    • Masks are required for unvaccinated Y staff. 
    • Masks are optional for vaccinated children and adults. 
    • When outside, all children and staff will have the choice to wear a mask.  

In addition, protocols are in place to encourage physical distancing of at least 3 feet indoors.

  • Groups – Children will be assigned to consistent groups and have limited interaction with other groups when inside. 
  • Personal hygiene and facility cleaning – Hand sanitizer will continue to be available both inside and outside.  Children and staff will be required to engage in regular handwashing throughout the day.  Y staff and educators will reference posted signage to encourage children on proper hand-washing procedures.  In addition, high touch surfaces (door handles, shared objects…) will be cleaned at least daily with additional cleaning and disinfection completed when illness is confirmed.
  • Designated Area for isolating sick children and staff members – Each location has a designated space to isolate children or staff who become symptomatic.  With written permission, we will use a rapid antigen test to determine if the individual has COVID.  For those that test positive, we will contact the child’s guardian and have the child picked up as soon as possible (within 45 minutes).  Sick children over 2 and staff will be required to wear masks until they have left the program.

 

COVID-19 Symptom Management Protocols

The bolded COVID-19 symptoms below (when they occur alone) should require immediate exclusion from the Y.  The non-bolded symptoms should be managed on a case-by-case basis by Y and family depending upon the severity, combination of symptoms and child illness policies of the Y’s Health Care Policies. 

School’s Out participants must follow the COVID-19 protocols for their school district and be eligible to attend school in order to participate in Y programs.

  • Fever (100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher,) chills, or shaking chills
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic chough)
  • Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms
  • Headache when in combination with other symptoms
  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms

 

Current protocol for symptomatic individuals:

  • Send the staff member home/excuse the child from the group and have them wait in the designated isolation room.  If needed, provide a mask if they are age 2 or older
  • Call the parent or guardian and arrange for the child to go home or administer a rapid test if proper parental consent is obtained
  • Inform the staff to get tested and/or the parent to get their child tested with a COVID-19 test (antigen or PCR)
    • Families can also contact their child’s healthcare provider for further evaluation
    • If programs or families have access to an at-home, rapid antigen COVID-19 test, testing can be administered by the program and/or family
  • Clean, disinfect, and ventilate areas that the ill staff/child occupied
  • If tested negative, the staff member/child can stay at the Y if symptoms are mild or return to the Y once they have been fever free for 24 hours and symptoms improved, no closure recommended for classroom(s), no exclusion/quarantine recommended for exposed cohort.

Current protocol if an individual test positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)

  • Individual cannot return to the Y and should stay home for 5 days
  • After 5 days
    • If they can mask: can go back to care on day 6 (test recommended, but not required) and those who are not vaccinated will wear a mask for days 6-10 after returning from 5 days of isolation.
    • If the individual cannot mask or is in the Early Learning Center
      • If individual can test on day 5 or later:
        • When test negative and asymptomatic or symptoms are subsiding, can go back to care the day after negative test (rapid test for ages 2 and over) depending on educator availability, returning to care no later than day 11
        • When test positive, continue isolating until negative test and asymptomatic or symptoms subside through day 10, returning to care no later than day 11
      • If individual cannot test: stay home for a total of 10 days, returning to care on day 11

Current protocol if an individual was exposed to someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)

  • Individual (staff or student) ages 2 and older may remain in care if they wear a mask and test each day for 5 consecutive days as part of the Rapid Cohort Testing option. If an individual is positive one of those days, they should follow isolation guidance above.
  • Otherwise, the individual cannot return to the Y and should stay home for 5 days, and
  • After 5 days
    • If they can mask: can go back to care on day 6 (test recommended, but not required) and those who are not vaccinated will wear a mask for days 6-10 after returning from 5 days of quarantine.
    • If the individual cannot mask or is in the Early Learning Center (including ages birth-2)
      • If individual can test on day 5:
        • When test negative and remain asymptomatic: can go back to care the day after a negative test (rapid test for ages 2 and over) depending on educator availability, returning to care no later than day 11
        • When test positive, follow isolation guidance above
      • If individual cannot test: stay home for total of ten days, returning to care on day 11

Current rapid antigen COVID-19 testing protocol

In addition to steps to screen for the virus and prevent its spread, we are accept COVID-19 rapid antigen testing for children to attend Y programming.  Please note that if a child enrolled in School’s Out attends a school where “Test and Stay” is not an acceptable alternative to quarantine, the child will not be able to attend the Y’s School’s Out program during the quarantine.

Families or Y staff will test their children at drop-off if the child is considered a close contact.  In situations where we learn that someone in the child’s group tested positive after drop-off has occurred, the Y will administer an FDA approved COVID-19 rapid antigen test with parental consent. 

What type of test is it? 

Families who decide to participate in this program will be required to conduct an FDA approved diagnostic Rapid Antigen rapid test for the COVID-19 virus their child in the presence of a Y staff member and will not be able to leave their child at the Y until the test results come back negative. Collecting a specimen for testing is non-invasive.  It involves using a swab, similar to a Q-Tip, placed inside the tip of the nose. For families administering the test, a staff member will supervise or provide training materials so that tests are conducted properly.  The Y will share test results with the individual who signs this form below if we conduct the test. 

When will rapid tests be used?

In alignment with EEC’s COVID-19 mitigation policies, rapid antigen tests will be used in two instances:

  • Symptomatic Rapid Testing:  Rapid antigen testing for staff or children who show symptoms consistent with COVID-19. When a child or staff member has onset of symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while attending the Y, they will be isolated first in accordance with our program’s illness policy, and an antigen test will be administered to determine if continued isolation and quarantine is necessary.  If a child tests negative, they can continue to stay in care as long as symptoms continue to remain mild, or in accordance with our program’s illness policy.
  • Asymptomatic Rapid Cohort Testing:  Rapid antigen testing for individuals with a known direct exposure to an individual who has been confirmed COVID positive. Exposure to the COVID-19 positive case must occur at the EEC-licensed program during care hours in order to participate in this option.  All asymptomatic members (age 2 and older) of the individual’s group can commit to daily rapid antigen testing either administered by the MetroWest YMCA or the family (parent) for the five consecutive calendar days instead of being required to quarantine. Unvaccinated children and staff participating in this option instead of quarantining must test negative at the start of each day. If a child tests positive in the group, they will be isolated and picked up immediately.  In addition, all members of the cohort must reset the clock to 5 consecutive days from the last date of exposure to the positive individual.

Who can participate?
All staff and children 2 years old and older can participate in Rapid Antigen testing, with a signed consent form. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved use of rapid antigen COVID-19 tests for children two (2) and older.

Testing on days when the child is not attending the Y (such as weekends or unscheduled days)

Children must be tested 5 days in a row for this program.  When a test day occurs over the weekend or on a day that the child is not scheduled to attend, families will need to conduct tests at home as part of Asymptomatic Rapid Cohort Testing and send results will need to be confirmed either through photo verification over email to the Director.  Failure to provide proof will result in the child’s required quarantine time of 5 days from date of exposure.

What does the result mean?

In accordance with EEC’s COVID-19 Recommended Guidelines & Protocols, anyone participating in the testing program must adhere to all EEC protocols. Protocols for responding to confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 within the program are outlined in these protocols. If a child tests negative but has symptoms of COVID-19, or if a family has concerns about their child’s exposure to COVID-19, families should call their child’s doctor, a licensed medical authority, or local health department.

Vaccinated people with an exposure to someone with COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Are fully vaccinated, which means it’s been more than 14 days since they received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine; and
  2. Have remained asymptomatic since the most recent exposure to COVID-19.

The MetroWest YMCA recommends that all adults and eligible children receive a COVID-19 vaccine and booster.

 

We greatly appreciate everyone’s support and patience during this time.  Caring for your children is our top priority and although we have been given strict restrictions, we intend to continue to provide your child with the comfort and care they deserve and need.  Since families will not be able to enter the classrooms, please do not hesitate to reach out to your program staff or administration.