Information for Schools and Childcare

Información para escuelas y atención infantil


Helping Children Cope:

Take time to talk

Let them know they are safe

Limit media exposure

Help maintain structure & routines

Be a role model: rest, eat well & exercise

Contra Costa Health Services works closely with the Contra Costa County Office of Education and CocoKids on issues related to COVID-19 for schools and childcare facilities. Guidance regarding school and childcare closures, reopening, etc. is developed in close consultation with these agencies, and based on health guidance from the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We encourage you to please look through the guidance provided on this page before contacting CCHS.


Schools and School Reopening

Escuelas y apertura de las escuelas

On Nov. 17, the state moved Contra Costa County into its most restrictive tier (purple tier) for reopening criteria. This means public and private elementary schools (TK – 6th grade) must submit applications online to local health and education officials to allow in-person instruction at their campuses unless they have already reopened or begun to reopen. Middle and high schools are not eligible to submit a waiver application, and may only reopen if the school had already opened or had begun to reopen while the County was in the less restrictive red or orange tier. If a school has already submitted a waiver and been approved by CCHS, there is no need to resubmit an application. CCHS and the County Office of Education have developed a checklist of safety measures schools must take.


Schools in counties in the State's substantial (red) tier can reopen for in-person instruction without a waiver once their county has been in the substantial (red) tier for at least two weeks. Local school officials will decide whether and when that will occur. Schools must follow State guidelines when they reopen or if they have to close again.


State​ (Estado)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention​ (Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades)



Atención infantil



State (Estado)

Centers for Disease Control​ and Prevention (Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades)

Small Cohorts/Groups of Children & Youth

Haga clic para ver información sobre cohortes para niños y jóvenes en entornos supervisados


A cohort is a stable group of no more than 14 children or youth and no more than two supervising adults in a supervised environment. The group stays together for all activities, including meals and recreation. And this group avoids contact with anyone not in their group. 

Follow the guidance for cohorts of children and youth in controlled, supervised and indoor environments. These environments include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • public and private schools (not open for in-person instruction at this time)

  • licensed and license-exempt child care settings 

  • organized and supervised care environments, like “distance learning hubs”

  • recreation programs

  • before and after school programs

  • youth groups

  • day camps

Follow additional guidances and directives for specified settings:

Kids and adults in supervised care environments must be in groups as small as possible. Kids and supervising adults in one group must not physically interact with:

  • kids and supervising adults in other groups

  • other facility staff

  • parents of kids in other groups


Practicing a cohort structure:

  • decreases opportunities for exposure to or transmission of the virus

  • facilitates more efficient contact tracing in the event of a positive case

  • allows for targeted testing, quarantine, and isolation of a single group instead of an entire population of kids and supervising adults


Click for the State’s answers to frequently asked questions about cohort guidance.


Youth Sports 

Haga clic para ver información sobre los deportes juveniles

The State of California guidance for youth sports provides guidelines for all youth sports programs, including school-based, club, and recreational programs.

  • ​Youth sports and physical education are permitted only when participants can maintain six feet of social distance at all times.

  • For sports that cannot be conducted with sufficient distancing or cohorting, only physical conditioning and training is permitted and ONLY where physical distancing can be maintained at all times. For example, a baseball game that requires a catcher and batter to be within six feet of each other, or a runner at first base to stand within six feet of the first baseman, is not permitted.

  • If a sport can’t be played maintaining six feet of distance, participants are limited to running drills or conditioning exercises that do allow social distancing.

  • Sports should be played outdoors where possible.

  • Tournaments, events, or competitions, regardless of whether teams are from the same or different schools, counties, or states are not permitted at this time.

  • Swimming is not impacted as Contra Costa County already requires social distancing of six feet and only outdoor pools are open.


Outdoor Playgrounds 

Haga clic para ver información sobre los patios de juego al aire libre

To keep our outdoor playgrounds open and safe for all, please follow these simple steps:

  • Wear a face covering

  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance

  • Wash or sanitize your hands

  • Eat or drink away from others

  • Visit during less busy times

  • Limit your visit to 30 minutes to reduce crowding

  • Stay home if you’re sick or have underlying health or medical conditions


Click here to download a PDF with safety tips.

All playground facilities operators should review and follow the State's safety guidelines as well as post this flyer at all outdoor playgrounds.


Resources for Parents and Families

Haga clic para ver recursos para padres y familias

COVID-19 has made the back-to-school season a challenging time for students and their families. This school year is beginning with students having to get their education remotely instead of in a classroom with their friends and teachers. The following resources have been compiled to assist families in dealing with the impact of COVID-19 as students and teachers remotely head back to school.


  • Meal Services During School Closures: Children eligible for free or subsidized meals can still get food through their schools at specific times. Please check with your local school district to verify the details.

  • Borrowing computers or digital devices: School districts may let students borrow computers so they can engage in distance learning. Check with your local school district for details.

  • Low-Cost Internet Access: A guide from the California Dept. of Education on cheap Internet plans from various service providers

  • has videos with lots of activities for motor skills and mindfulness, mostly movement-oriented. Registration is free.

  • Help for Students in Crisis: Resources for addressing mental health and wellness while school sites are closed from the California Department of Education (CDE). 

  • California Parent & Youth Helpline®: Emotional support for families challenged by the pressures of Covid-19. Provides support and resource referrals to parents and youths during the current COVID-19 pandemic, 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Call or text 1-855-4APARENT (855-427-2736) for services in English, Spanish and other languages.

  • Kindergarten Countdown Resources: Contra Costa County Library created Kindergarten Countdown to provide families with examples of fun and open-ended activities to support future school success. The activities are all designed to promote the early literacy skills of talking, singing, reading, writing, playing, fine-motor skills and self-help. 

Health Tools & Materials

Herramientas y materiales de Salud

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