Starting today, children over 3 will need to wear masks in daycare
Children over the age of 3 will need to wear a mask while attending day care, camp or school starting Monday, according to Connecticut officials.
The requirement will continue throughout the COVID-19 state of emergency, the state’s Office of Early Childhood said in a Sept. 14 memo, unless the agency’s commissioner modifies the order before then.
Children with documented special needs or medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask are exempt under the order, according to the memo.
Some exceptions are also made for special education needs, such as kids undergoing speech therapy. In that instance, speech or language specialists might remove their masks intermittently to work on lip reading.
Kids who just turned 3 or recently enrolled in day care also have a few months to “work toward mask-wearing,” according to the memo.
Programs can also allow for mask breaks indoors, but with room for social distancing. Kids won’t have to wear their masks while playing outside.
Gov. Ned Lamont’s Sept. 4 executive order gave the Early Childhood and Education commissioners latitude to issue operational rules during the pandemic, including requiring masks or face coverings.
While the mask rule for kids older than 3 officially goes into effect Monday, programs have until Oct. 19 to fully implement it, in order to give families time to adjust, the agency said.
Child care facilities will need to adopt a written policy that’s shared with both staff and parents, the agency said.
The Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend mask wearing — with the latter arguing kids as young as 2 can be taught to wear masks.