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Our schools, youth programs and education sites are critical components of our communities and have tremendous impact on the health, well-being, growth, and development of students and families in Los Angeles County. This COVID-19 Toolkit serves as a resource to prepare for, prevent, and respond to COVID-19 in education settings including:

  • Early Care and Education (ECE) sites
  • TK-12 schools
  • Programs serving school-aged children, including day care, camps, and youth sports programs
  • Institutes of Higher Education (IHE).

This COVID-19 Toolkit provides an overview of important requirements and recommendations, tools, and reporting information. For more details about the recommendations please visit LACDPH COVID-19 Prevention and Response Guidelines for Education Settings.

Responding to COVID-19 in Education Settings

Education settings should continue to investigate and respond to any COVID-19 cases identified at the site. Current State laws and regulations require schools to exclude staff and students who have a communicable disease while contagious. The following DPH guidelines are intended to support education settings in developing and implementing exclusion and return to school criteria related to COVID-19. As employers, education settings should also refer to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations for workplace requirements. For more details about the recommendations please see LACDPH COVID-19 Prevention and Response Guidelines for Education Settings.

Staff and Students with Symptoms of Possible COVID-19
Positive Staff and Students (Cases)
Exposed Staff and Students (Close Contacts)
Communication and Notifications
  • Instruct parents to immediately inform the site when a student tests positive for COVID-19 and was onsite during the student's infectious period.
  • When sites are notified of a confirmed COVID-19 case, it is strongly recommended that they notify students who were exposed to the COVID-19 case during the case's infectious period and provide them with instructions for close contacts.
  • Sites are required to notify employees if they have been exposed to a known COVID-19 case in the workplace during the case's infectious period per Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations.
Reporting Clusters of COVID-19 Cases to LACDPH

Per the LA County Health Officer Order, Education Settings are required to notify DPH within 1 business day of all clusters of at least 3 linked COVID-19 cases within 7 days of each other.

Best Practices to Prevent COVID-19 in Education Settings

Education settings should implement multiple layers of COVID-19 mitigation strategies to reduce risk and limit cases and transmission at the site. Please see the information below for a variety of resources and tools that schools can use to assist in developing layered strategies.


Everyone 6 months and older should get the updated fall 2023 COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and reduce the spread of the virus. Vaccination is the best way to protect against getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and dying from COVID-19 and helps to reduce COVID-19 outbreaks in schools and in the community. The updated vaccine can increase prior protection (from previous vaccination or infection) that may have decreased over time.

  • Where to Get Vaccinated
    • Families can contact their healthcare providers or visit ph.lacounty.gov/vaccines to schedule vaccination appointments nearby. They can also call 1-833-540-0473 or 2-1-1 if they need help making an appointment or are homebound. or 2-1-1 if they need help making an appointment or are homebound. (Note: Minors need consent from their parent or legal guardian to get vaccinated).
  • VaccinateLAcounty.com
    • Information on COVID-19 vaccines, including how to get the vaccine in Los Angeles County, vaccine safety, authorized vaccines, data, and information for providers.
  • Host a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic
    • A guide for coordinating school-located vaccine clinics, including best practices and resources. While it includes information and resources for TK-12 schools, the overall content is helpful for childcare facilities, preschools, and institutes of higher education.
  • Shots for Schools
    • Information about required and recommended immunizations for children, students, and staff.
  • CDC's Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines
    • Information about what it means to be up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
  • CDC Recommendations for Students Vaccinated Outside the US
    • Guidelines for vaccinations schedules and boosters for those vaccinated outside the US.

Increasing ventilation and improving air quality and filtration are highly effective ways to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and other viruses through the air. Make sure your site's HVAC system is in good working order and frequently inspected. Consider other ways to improve ventilation including adding portable high-efficiency air filters, opening windows and doors to increase fresh outdoor air, and moving activities outdoors as weather and air quality allow.


Ensuring students and employees have access to testing when symptomatic or exposed is important to prevent spread of COVID-19. Testing recommendations for the general public change based on local metrics, which are updated regularly on the LA County COVID-19 Response Plan website.


Wearing a mask can help reduce the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19. County indoor mask wearing rules and recommendations for the general public change based on local metrics, which are updated regularly on the LA County COVID-19 Response Plan website. Children under 2 should not wear a mask.

  • LACDPH COVID-19 Mask Wearing Rules and Recommendations
    • Provides up to date masking requirements and recommendations as well as information on types of masks and mask exemptions.
  • Wear a Mask and Know your Rights
    • Employers are required to offer well-fitting medical masks and respirators (with instructions on proper fit) at no cost to employees who work indoors and have contact with others or who are in vehicles with others. Staff may also request masks and respirators at no cost.
Cleaning and disinfecting

Regularly cleaning surfaces helps prevent the spread of germs that make people sick. Facilities should regularly clean frequently touched surfaces and objects such as door handles, stair rails, and elevator buttons.

Additional COVID-19 Resources
Workplace Guidance
LACDPH Best Practices to Prevent COVID-19 for Businesses and Employers
  • Best practices for COVID-19 prevention in the workplace.
LAC DPH Responding to COVID-19 in the Workplace
  • Guide for recommended and required actions related to COVID-19 cases in the workplace.
CAL/OSHA COVID-19 Non-Emergency Regulations
  • Regulations related to COVID-19 from The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), better known as Cal/OSHA.
CAL/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations FAQs
  • Frequently asked questions to Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Non-Emergency Regulations
COVID-19 Safety: Workers' Rights in California
  • This document has important information for employees about workplace rights and government benefits for those affected by the pandemic.
Traveling Recommendations

LACDPH Travel Guidance provides up to date travel information during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information for Immigrants
  • The Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs provides answers to common questions about COVID-19 and guidance on testing and treatment services, available to all regardless of immigration status
  • Families who need health benefits can learn about comprehensive free and low-cost health coverage on this DPSS website.
  • Mental Health Resources and Support Services
    Mental Health Toolkit for Parents and Guardians of Teens
    • This website was developed by the Department of Public Health and provides information, links and activities for parents/guardians of teens.
    • LA County residents get free access to online mental health tools, including on-demand chat with trained peer coaches, self-paced lessons on a variety of topics to improve wellbeing, and community support groups.
    DPSS Access to Healthcare Services
    • Families who need health insurance can learn about comprehensive free and low-cost health coverage on this DPSS website. Families who need help finding a doctor can call the 24/7 helpline at 2-1-1 or visit 211LA.org.
    Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH)
    • Resources to support the wellbeing of our communities. LACDMH's 24/7 Help Line at (800) 854-7771 is available to provide mental health support, resources, and referrals.
    CDC's Coping with Stress
    • Information on healthy ways to cope with stress, resources, and crisis hotline numbers.
    LA County COVID-19 Data
    COVID-19 Data Dashboard for TK-12 Schools
    • This resource includes school-specific data on testing, cases, and outbreaks
    LA County Data Homepage
    • Explore LA County's COVID-19 data.
    LA County Vaccination Data
    • Interactive tool to explore vaccination data in LA County, including by School District.
    Signage and Communication Tools
    COVID-19 entry sign - Masks Required in this area
    Entry Sign: Masks Required by Management
    English PDF | Word Doc
    COVID-19 entry sign - Masks Strongly Recommended
    Entry Sign: Masks Strongly Recommended
    English PDF | Word Doc
    Masking Tips for Children
    COVID-19 Vaccine Facts
    English (translations pending)
    COVID-19 Vaccine Facts for Teens - 2-page infographic
    English (translations pending)
    COVID-19 Vaccine Facts for Parents - 2-page infographic
    English (translations pending)  
    Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination

    CDC Frequently Asked Questions: English | Español
    CDPH Questions and answers: English | Español

    Why Routine Childhood Vaccinations Matter
    COVID-19 Vaccine Myths and Facts

    CDC webpage: English | Español

    COVID-19 Quick Guide for Parents
    Flow charts for isolation and close contact
    CDC Resources
    CDC Handwashing/Health Promotion Fact Sheets/Posters
    Guidance for Hosting Holiday Events
    Indoor Air Quality Ventilation Tips (CDPH)
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