Manage COVID-19 in schools, childcare, and youth programs

Follow this guidance to help keep kids and staff healthy.

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

  • Following the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the Community Care Licensing Division has resumed regular pre-pandemic licensing reporting requirements.
  • As of March 1, 2023, licensed childcare sites are no longer required to report individual positive cases of COVID-19 per CDSS guidance.
  • Licensed childcare sites must continue to report outbreaks to their Regional Licensing Office.


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

  • Schools, childcare, and programs serving children and youth may report to SFDPH when at least 5% of their setting’s population (minimum 3 cases), including students and staff, have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases over a 14-day period.
  • Cal/OSHA requires reporting of employee outbreaks of 20 or more.
  • Schools, childcare, and programs serving children and youth must continue to comply with the rest of Labor Code 6409.6 by notifying employees exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace. 
  • To voluntarily 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

Outbreak management and technical assistance

Last updated April 23, 2024