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This page is regularly updated with guidance and resources from the Office of Head Start (OHS) to help all programs support staff, children, and families during this challenging time

Young girl wearing a mask

Effective July 15, 2022, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra has extended the public health emergency that was initially declared on Jan. 27, 2020, and has been renewed every 90 days. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has deeply impacted Head Start and Early Head Start programs, enrolled children and families, and their communities. The Secretary has the authority, under Section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, to determine that a public health emergency exists. Once a declaration is made, it remains in effect for 90 days and can be extended.

Effective Nov. 30, 2021, the Head Start Program Performance Standards reflects staff vaccination and universal masking requirements. Requiring all Head Start staff, some contractors, and volunteers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and universal masking for all individuals 2 years of age and older, is critical as we work together to move toward fully in-person comprehensive services by providing healthy and safe environments for everyone. Check out the collection of Head Start resources on vaccine and masking to learn more about how the requirements announced in the Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC) will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 information and contacts

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