Schools, childcare, and youth programs during the COVID-19 pandemic

Follow this guidance to keep kids and staff safe.

What to do

For guidance on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools, childcare, and programs for children and youth, see the following:

CDPH School resources

CDPH Childcare resources


SFDPH no longer has separate local guidance for schools, childcare, and programs for children and youth.  Please refer to above CDPH guidance for these settings.

Since new variants of COVID can spread more easily, SFDPH no longer tracks individual cases of COVID in schools. This is not an effective public health strategy. As a result, the following now applies:


For cases regarding children and youth

  • Per CDSS FAQ, licensed childcare sites are required to immediately report a positive test result to their local CDSS child care licensing regional office and notify parents, caregivers, and staff.
  • All other sites serving children and youth (i.e., schools, afterschool programs, summer camps, and other programs serving youth) are no longer required to report individual cases to SFDPH.  


For COVID-19 outbreaks (students, youth, and staff) in educational settings:

  • Schools, childcare, and programs serving children and youth shall report to SFDPH when at least 5% of their setting’s population (minimum 3 cases), including students and staff, have reported suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases over a 14-day period.
  • If 3 or more employees test positive in a 14-day period, report to SFDPH.
  • To report COVID-19 outbreaks, use (SPOT).


For more information on how to use the Schools Portal for Outbreak Tracking (SPOT) system, please view SPOT 2.0 Demo: Changes to the SPOT Portal or the Summary of SPOT 2.0 

The privacy and confidentiality of students and schools is important. SFDPH does not publicly share if there have been cases of COVID at a specific school site. SFDPH does not discuss cases with people who are not involved to ensure patient privacy and confidentiality.

Get help

Prevention related technical assistance and guidance

Outbreak management and technical assistance

Last updated September 14, 2022