Families with Children

Families with Children

children and dog on mountaintop

Because new COVID-19 variants are highly transmissible, unvaccinated people are at a much higher risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. This includes children who are under 5 years old since a vaccine is not yet available for them. To help protect those who are unvaccinated, everyone should follow these basic prevention steps:

  • Get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible
  • Stay home if you feel sick
  • Get tested if you have any symptoms, may be a close contact, or have taken part in activities that could put you at risk, such as large gatherings
  • Wash your hands regularly

Learn more about how to protect yourself and others.

Vaccination

Find out about vaccines for children ages 5 to 11
Vermont is vaccinating children and youth ages 5+, following the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in younger age groups.

November 2021 letter to families about vaccines for children ages 5 and older (Agency of Education)

Learn more about vaccinating 12- to 15-year olds
Read What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids

Testing

Infants and children can get tested at a Health Department testing site. Anyone under 18 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian or bring a signed parental consent form. Learn more about getting tested for COVID-19.

If your child has symptoms of COVID-19, talk to their health care provider. If your child doesn't have a provider, call 2-1-1 to be connected to care, or contact the nearest federally qualified health center or one of Vermont's free & referral clinics.

Learn about testing in schools

Please report test results (positive or negative) to the Health Department using this online form, Vermont COVID-19 Self-Test Result Reporting Form

Maskstwo kids and dad luaghing, playing outside

The Health Department currently recommends wearing a mask in public indoor settings, because a significant portion of the population remains unvaccinated and more transmissible variants are spreading.

getting together

Continue to take care when getting together with friends and family or when you are in a crowd. If you are at an indoor gathering or event, wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart helps protect anyone who is unvaccinated, at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or lives with someone who is at increased risk.

If you or your child test positive for COVID-19

If you or your child test positive for COVID-19, even if fully vaccinated or don’t have any symptoms, you or they should isolate as soon as you receive the positive test result and then notify your or your child's close contacts. Isolation means staying home and away from other people – including the people who live with you – for at least 5 days. This is to prevent further spread of the virus.

It’s not always possible to isolate from others in your home or in your care. Follow the examples below.

  • If you are a parent or guardian taking care of a child who tested positive for COVID-19 and they depend on you for care, follow guidance for close contacts
  • If you are a parent or guardian who tested positive for COVID-19 and your child depends on you for care, then your child should follow guidance for close contacts
  • As much as possible, continue to practice prevention steps.

We recommend that you tell your health care provider that you or your child tested positive for COVID-19 so they can offer additional guidance for your health. If you don't have a health care provider, call 2-1-1 to be connected to care, or contact the nearest federally qualified health center or one of Vermont's free & referral clinics.

It’s important for people in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 to know that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Especially with more contagious variants, the sooner people know they may have come into contact with the virus, the sooner they can take steps to protect themselves and to prevent further spread in the community. If your child was at school or day care while infectious, the school will notify close contacts in the learning community. Please notify close contacts outside of the learning community so they can take steps to protect themselves and to prevent further spread. Find more details and guidance on how to notify close contacts.

Learn more about what to do if you or your child tests positive for COVID-19

If you or your child is a close contact of someone with COVID-19

If you or your child are a close contact or think you had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, immediately begin following the testing and quarantine guidance. Close contact means being within 6 feet, for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, of someone with COVID-19 during their infectious period. Quarantine means staying away from others when you might have been exposed to the virus.  

It’s not always possible to avoid close contact with others in your home or in your care.

  • If you are a parent or guardian taking care of a child who is in quarantine, you do not need to quarantine.
  • If you are a parent or guardian and are in quarantine, your child does not need to quarantine.
  • As much as possible, continue to practice prevention steps.

You may find out that you or your child is a close contact from the person who tested positive, the Health Department (a text message from 89361 or a phone call), your employer, your child’s school or day care, your health care provider, or another place you went to recently.

Learn more about what to do if you or your child are a close contact of someone with COVID-19

Resources for your family
Information on school and child care for parents and caregivers

Information for Families: Return to School Following Illness
What to know if your child gets sick, and when they can return to school. See the pediatric flow chart referenced in this document. 
In Arabic | Burmese | French | Kirundi | Nepali | Somali | Spanish | Swahili | Vietnamese

Information for Families: Return to Child Care or an Out of School Care Program Following Illness
What to know if your child gets sick, and when they can return to child care or an out of school care program. See the pediatric flow chart referenced in this document. 
In Arabic | Burmese | French | Kirundi | Nepali | Somali | Spanish | Swahili | Vietnamese

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 5 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future.

Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.

Learn more from the CDC about:

vaccine information