CPI COVID-19 Mitigation Plan (2023-2024)

CPI is continuing to follow the CDC and NYC DOHMH guidelines as well as using guidance from the Office of Head Start (OHS) in setting strategies that are appropriate for our community’s rates and as things change and progress.

These are our preparedness strategies:
*Mask wearing for adults and children is optional with a few exemptions:

1. CPI will display a COVID-19 Alert-Level System Indicator at the entrance to the school that will be updated daily.
When community infection rates are HIGH (color code RED):

CPI COVID-19 Mitigation Plan 2023-24
  • CPI staff will post signs/move the level indicator on the COVID-19 Alert-Level System Indicator to display (code RED) HIGH ALERT.
  • CPI staff will alert families by email/text/calls that the emergency masking system will be implemented.
  • Mandatory masking upon entry for children and families during check-in will be issued until the alert is lifted.

2. If an adult or child has a cough (without other symptoms) masks will be strongly encouraged.

  • As always if an adult or child is sick and it is potentially contagious a doctor’s visit is highly recommended.
  • Children under 2 years old must never wear a face mask/covering.
  • Special events and group gatherings may be held on Zoom or outdoors, if feasible and some events/meetings may be held in-person.
  • At naptime, we will ensure that children’s cots are spaced out as much as possible. Children will lay ‘head to toe’, on the cots at naptime, in order to further reduce the potential for viral spread.
  • All adults and children use the disinfecting mats upon entry to the building.
  • Staff may wear smocks and rubber-soled footwear, which is kept at the site and worn only in the building.
  • When indicated, some administrative staff may telework from their homes.

Staff Arrival and Parent Drop-Off/Pick-Up

  • Hand hygiene stations are set up at the entrance of each site, so that all individuals can sanitize their hands before they enter and when they check their temperature. Hand sanitizers with at least 60% ethyl alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol are mounted on the wall as soon as you enter, stationed next to sign-in sheets and throughout the building. Hand sanitizers will be kept out of children’s reach and only used with adult supervision.
  • Sign-in stations, where the children’s temperatures are checked, are set outside (weather permitted), or at the door entrance (during inclement weather), and “clean” and “dirty” pen containers are used for pens.
  • Staff members from each classroom pick up/drop off the children and bring them to their classroom at the beginning of the day, and bring the children back to the front for pick up at the end of the day.

Staff, Parents & Children Screening Upon Arrival

Persons who have a fever of 100◦ F (37.7◦ C) or above or other signs of illness will not be admitted into the building. We encourage all staff and parents to be on the alert for signs of illness in themselves and their children, to take temperatures before leaving their homes (if possible) and to stay home and keep their children home when sick. All adults and children are screened prior to entry.

Screening Process

  • The Site Safety Monitor (SSM), as well as other designated trained staff, will wash/sanitize their hands before the screenings begin.
  • Children are visually inspected for signs of illness, which could include flushed cheeks, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity), fatigue, or extreme fussiness, and parents confirm that the child is not experiencing coughing or shortness of breath or any other COVID-19 symptoms.
  • The child’s temperature is taken.
    • Non-contact (temporal) thermometers are used by staff
    • If the staff does not have physical contact with an individual, and are wearing gloves, the gloves do not have to be changed before the next child’s temperature is checked.
    • The thermometers are to be cleaned with a disinfecting wipe (or isopropyl alcohol wipes) between each individual, if any contact has been made.
  • If hands are visibly soiled, soap and water is used before using alcoholbased hand sanitizer.
  • For children arriving to the sites via bus transportation, screenings should be completed prior to boarding the bus.
  • When the bus children arrive to the site they must be screened before exiting the bus and entering the building.
  • Staff have been trained in using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Site Safety Monitors (SSM)

Each site have designated “Site Safety Monitors (SSM)” to conduct daily health screenings, monitor the cleaning and disinfecting being completed by the custodians, report any individual who does not pass the screening process to the Health and Nutrition Manager and anything else required and needed to ensure the safety of our staff, children and families.

Site Safety Monitors (SSM) by site:

  • Site 1 (CPHS) Tamarah John, CPHS Education Director Charlotte Nicholson, CPI Administrative Assistant
  • Site 2 (CFHS) Teresa Bissetta, CPI Deputy Director Tangia Small, CPI Health and Nutrition Manager
  • Site 3 (MEHS) Lillie Ann Akeem, MEHS Education Coordinator Carline Brown, MEHS Education/Site Director

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Caring for Our Children (CFOC) provides national standards for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection of educational facilities for children. Normally toys that can be put in the mouth would be cleaned and sanitized but the new emphasis is on cleaning and disinfecting not sanitizing. Other hard surfaces, including diaper changing stations, doorknobs, and floors will also be disinfected.

Intensify cleaning and disinfection efforts:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting is performed daily and logged on the NYC DOHMH Cleaning and Disinfecting Log by the custodians and monitored/signed off by the Site Safety Monitor (SSM).
  • This includes cleaning objects/surfaces that may not have ordinarily been cleaned daily such as doorknobs, light switches, classroom sink handles, countertops, nap time cots, toilet training potties, desks, chairs, cubbies, and playground structures.
  • This also includes all surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, especially toys and games (which will be cleaned and disinfected by the teaching staff in the Zono machine).
  • We will continue to use the cleaners and disinfectants we have been using at our facilities and some new ones which are all appropriate for childcare settings, EPA-registered and labeled to kill virus that causes COVID-19.
  • We will continue checking the list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • If surfaces are dirty, they will be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • We will continue to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for concentration, application method, and contact time for all cleaning and disinfection products.
  • We have and will continue to provide sanitizers with at least 60% ethyl alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol to each staff member (please note sanitizers are also in dispensers throughout the buildings as stated prior) and also EPA-registered disposable wipes have been given to every classroom, office, and kitchen so that commonly used surfaces such as keyboards, desks, refrigerators, microwaves, remote controls, etc. can be wiped down before and after use. If wipes are not available, we will provide an appropriate disinfectant.
  • All cleaning materials will be kept secure and out of reach of children as always (including personal sanitizers).
  • Cleaning products will not be used around children or staff and there will be adequate ventilation when using these products.
  • All highly touched areas are disinfected first thing in the morning and at the end of the day (after the children and staff have left the building) by the custodian with disinfecting wipes.
  • At the end of the day disinfecting misting/spraying is also completed by the custodian (after all children and staff have left the building).

Cleaning and Disinfecting Toys

  • Toys that cannot be cleaned and disinfected are not to be used.
  • Toys will be cleaned with water and detergent, rinsed, disinfected with an EPA-registered disinfectant, rinse again, and then air-dried.
  • We will be very mindful of items more likely to be placed in a child’s mouth, like play food, dishes, and utensils.
  • At the end of the week toys that are used will be set aside to be cleaned and disinfected.
  • Children’s books, like other paper-based materials such as mail or envelopes, are not considered a high risk for transmission and do not need additional cleaning or disinfection procedures.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Bedding

We only use bedding (sheets, pillows, blankets) that can be washed. Children’s bedding are stored separately in individually labeled bags. Cots are labeled for each child and are only used by that child. Cots are disinfected daily by the custodians with disinfecting mister (at the end of the day) and cot covers are also cleaned and disinfected weekly.

Caring for Toddlers


When diapering a child, the staff’s hands are washed, gloves are put on, then the child’s hand are washed and then the staff put on a new pair of gloves before changing the diaper. Following safe diaper changing procedures are required.
Procedures are posted in all diaper changing areas. Steps include:

  • Prepare (includes putting on gloves)
  • Clean the child
  • Change gloves
  • Remove trash (soiled diaper and wipes)
  • Change gloves
  • Replace diaper
  • Wash child’s hands
  • Clean up diapering station
  • Take off gloves
  • Wash hands

After diapering hands are washed (even if gloves were worn) and the diapering area is disinfected with a fragrance-free bleach that is EPA-registered as a disinfecting solution. If other products are used for sanitizing or disinfecting they are also fragrance-free and EPA-registered. If the surface is dirty, it is cleaned with detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Washing, Feeding, or Holding a Child

It is important to comfort crying, sad, and/or anxious toddlers and children, and they often need to be held. To the extent possible, when washing, feeding, or holding very young children: Childcare providers may protect themselves by wearing a loose button-down, long sleeved smock and by putting long hair up off the collar in a ponytail or other up do.

  • Childcare providers wash their hands, neck, and anywhere touched by a child’s secretions.
  • Childcare providers change the child’s clothes if secretions are on the child’s clothes. They change the button-down smock, if there are secretions on it, and wash their hands again.
  • Contaminated clothes are placed in a plastic bag to be washed in a washing machine at the end of the day or immediately (if possible).
  • Toddlers, children and their providers have multiple changes of clothes on hand in the childcare center.

Healthy Hand Hygiene Behavior

  • All children, staff, and volunteers MUST engage in proper hand hygiene at all times and especially during the following times:
    • Arrival to the facility and after breaks
    • Before and after preparing food or drinks
    • Before and after eating or handling food, or feeding children
    • Before and after administering medication or medical ointment
    • Before and after diapering
    • After using the toilet or helping a child use the bathroom
    • After coming in contact with bodily fluid
    • After handling pets or cleaning up animal waste
    • After playing outdoors
    • After handling garbage
  • Hands washed with soap and water must be done for at least 20 seconds. If hands are not visibly dirty, alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% ethyl alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol can be used if soap and water are not readily available (as stated prior).
  • Children must be supervised when they use hand sanitizer to prevent ingestion.
  • Children who cannot wash hands alone will be assisted with handwashing, and then staff will wash their hands.
  • Developmentally appropriate posters in English and Spanish describing handwashing steps are near sinks and are updated as needed.

Food Preparation and Family Style Meal Service

  • Food preparation sinks cannot be used for any other purposes.
  • Family Style Meals has resumed which means that food is brought to the classroom on a cart by the cooks in separate containers by component and placed on the table by the teachers for the children to serve themselves (children are assisted, if needed).
  • Staff ensure children wash hands prior to and immediately after eating.
  • All staff wash their hands before and after assisting any children to eat.
  • If a child is wearing a mask, it is removed and placed in a separate bag with the child’s name on it before eating.
  • If a child is wearing a mask, after the child is done eating, the child will put their face masks back on and a staff member will assist, if needed.

Tooth brushing

Dry Tooth brushing will be done at the table (after breakfast and lunch). Children will be handed their toothbrush by an adult and will brush their teeth themselves (if assistance is needed the hand-over-hand method will be used). They will then be encouraged to drink water which is provided at meal times. This is the recommendation of the Dental Director from Joseph P. Addabbo Health Center who is on our HSAC (Health Service Advisory Committee). Children will be encouraged to dry brush but never forced (see CPI – New Dry Tooth brushing Procedure/Protocol for more details).

It is extremely important that individuals Stay Home If Sick

Children, their caregivers and staff should stay home if they show any symptoms of COVID-19 or other illnesses and to get tested for COVID-19.

Isolate If Tested Positive for COVID-19

Children and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for five days and can return to the program on Day 6 with a negative test and without COVID-19 symptoms. The individual should continue to wear a mask when around others until Day 10 (after symptom onset or date of positive test).

Get Tested If Exposed to COVID-19 (Close Contact)

  • Unvaccinated children who are exposed to COVID-19 are required to get tested before returning to school.
  • Staff and vaccinated children do not need to get tested to return but should monitor for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms for 10 days after their exposure.
    • If symptoms begin, they should not attend childcare and should get tested for COVID-19 right away.
    • If the test is positive, the individual must isolate for 5 days and return on day 6 with a negative test and no symptoms.
  • All “close contacts” should also get tested five days after their last exposure and wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask for 10 days.

Please note (according to the CDC/NYC DOHMH): For the purpose of determining length of isolation and masking period: Day 0 is the day of COVID-19 symptom onset and Day 1 is the first full day after the day symptoms have started. If they had no symptoms, Day 0 is the test date and Day 1 is the first full day following the test date.
The Health and Nutrition Manager and Site Safety Monitors at the site must be NOTIFIED of all “positive cases” and “close contacts” as soon they arise and will make the appropriate calculations for the return date to CPI (if applicable). Parents are notified if their child is a potential “close contact” by a letter sent home/emailed with the possible exposure dates by Health and Nutrition Manager or Site Safety Monitors.
Also classroom closures will be determined on a case by case basis dependent on the circumstances. Communication will be made between the school and the parent when classrooms closures are deemed necessary.

In the event that a child begins to exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 after being screened.

The Site Safety Monitor (SSM) will put on a pair of disposable gloves, their face shield, a disposable smock, a disposable mask (if they have on a reusable mask) and bring the child to the isolation area.

  • The parent/guardian or emergency contact will be called to pick up the child immediately.
  • The SSM will keep the child calm and stay with the child until they are picked up.
  • After the child has been picked up the SSM will take off and discard their disposable gloves, face mask, smock and disinfect their face shield.
  • The child will isolate for 5 days and can return with a negative COVID-19 test result and be symptom free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication before returning to school on Day 6.

Communication Plan

Communication Modalities:

  • Letters sent home/emailed to parents and staff from the Health and Nutrition Manager and/or Site Safety Monitors when there is a potential “close contact” without identifying the individual who may have tested positive.
  • Updates to policies are sent home/emailed to parents and staff from the Executive Director and/or the Health and Nutrition Manager as community levels change and as needed.
  • Mask requirements are posted at the entrance of the buildings and updates will also be posted as well as sent/emailed to parents/staff.
  • The communication is accessible to individuals with disabilities as it is shared using many modalities (email/letters/text/etc.) and if any individual needs assistance it is provided by the Mental Health/Special Needs Consultant, Education Team, Family Services and/or appropriate staff.

*This COVID-19 Mitigation Plan is being updated as things change/progress*
Updated 09/08/23