Physical Health

COVID-19: Risk Reduction Strategies

Young girl getting a colorful bandage on her left arm after being vaccinated.

Head Start and Early Head Start programs should take steps to reduce the risk of spreading infectious diseases, including the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 spreads through the air. An infected person can spread the virus even if they do not feel sick or are not coughing or sneezing.

Infectious Disease Risk Reduction Strategies

These strategies help reduce the risk of spreading infectious diseases, including COVID-19:

Using multiple strategies at the same time helps reduce the risk of illness among children, families, and staff.

COVID-19-specific Risk Reduction Strategies

These strategies provide additional protection to decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19:

These additional strategies help reduce illness from COVID-19, especially for people who are at high risk for severe disease.

Risk Reduction Strategies and COVID-19 Levels in Your Community

It is important for programs to understand the level of COVID-19 in their community because more risk-reduction strategies will be needed when levels become higher. Review data about the prevalence of COVID-19 in your community from sources such as your state, territorial, tribal, or local public health agencies or the CDC's COVID-19 Community Levels website. Communicate with your local public health agencies for strategies and guidance.


Search the Caring for Our Children (CFOC) Online Standards Database to find the CFOC standards, including a series of COVID-19 modifications.