COVID-19 vaccine

The vaccine is available to everyone 12 and older! Find a City-run vaccine clinic or partner vaccine clinic to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you have questions about vaccination, call (215) 685-5488.

Senior day services guidance (older adult day centers & programs)

Senior day services guidance (older adult day centers & programs)

The following is intended as a plain-language summary of rules during the COVID-19 emergency and does not replace the need to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

The Health Department requires that all seniors, staff, and other persons at these centers continue to wear masks.

All participants, staff, and caregivers must continue to mask. Those individuals who are not vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear a KN95 mask.

Because of the high level of risk for participants in these settings, The Health Department strongly recommends that at least 80% of all participants/seniors and 80% of caregivers and staff are vaccinated at these facilities.

For offices within the location, follow Office guidance.

Protections needed

For all instances where PA state guidance differs from the Health Department, follow the guidance which is most restrictive.


  • Masking must be strictly observed regardless of vaccination status. Ensure all unvaccinated persons (seniors, caregivers, and staff) are wearing KN95 masks.
  • Require everyone to remain masked at all times while on site except and only during mealtimes.
  • Staff must use a face shield in addition to their mask for added protection whenever working with participants.
  • Require all individuals regardless of vaccination status to remain masked at all times during transportation to and from the site. Individuals who are not vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear KN95 masks.
    • Require any family member or driver to wear face masks at pick up and drop off.


  • Screen every person for symptoms of COVID-19 and prevent them from remaining on site if they have any symptom.
    • Identify an area separate from program areas for screening to occur.
    • Designate a separate holding area for participants who have symptoms to wait until they can leave the facility.
    • Maintain daily documentation of participant attendance and staffing.
  • Have sick leave policies in place so that staff excluded from the center do not lose earnings.
  • If staff develops COVID-19 infection or has a positive test, businesses and other organizations must take additional precautions to stop the virus from spreading further. Required precautions include calling PDPH at 215 685-5488 to report positive cases.

Reduce crowds

  • Consider limiting occupancy to 15 persons per 1,000 square feet. This includes all persons—participants, staff, and caregivers.
  • Distancing is still recommended. Encourage participants to maintain 3 feet of distance between themselves and others.
  • Set up chairs, wheelchairs, and tables so that participants are spaced at least 3 feet apart at all times.
  • Use floor decals or other visual cues to encourage spacing of at least 3 feet between all seniors, staff, and caregivers.
    • This includes mealtimes, health screenings and arrival/dismissal times.
  • Adjust work assignments to ensure employees can stay at least 3 feet from each other throughout their shifts.
  • Staff may take breaks for meals in rooms separate from seniors and should remain at least 3 feet apart from others while eating.
    • Stagger breaks to minimize interactions among staff.
    • Space chairs in break rooms for staff to maintain at least 3 feet of distance during meals and when not eating.
    • Post signs alerting employees to maintain distance and avoid eating near or across from each other.
  • Whenever feasible, hold services, activities, and programs outside or in large spaces that allow for physical distancing.
  • For seniors who take a bus, seat one person per row and skip rows if possible.
  • Carpools should not include passengers from other households.
  • Avoid field trips and excursions.
  • Consider use of staggered schedules/operational hours to reduce the number of people in the facility.
  • Use video streaming to provide enrichment experiences from individuals or groups who are not members of the center community.
  • If providing meals on premises, meals should be plated and served to persons who must be seated at least 3 feet from each other. Family-style meals or buffets are prohibited. Staff should wear PPE to serve participants.
  • If providing meals to be taken home to eat, boxed options should be readily available for seniors.


  • Place handwashing stations or hand sanitizer at entry and outside bathrooms with prominent signage promoting use.
  • Require handwashing or hand sanitizer use on arrival.
  • Ensure frequent handwashing by staff.


  • Wipe down high-touch surfaces with disinfectant regularly. See CDC guidance for details.
  • Clean and disinfect all equipment between participants following CDC guidance.
  • For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, and keyboards:
    • Put wipeable covers on electronics and clean between each user.
    • Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting.
    • If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.


  • For services, activities, and programs indoors, if possible, increase ventilation in the building by either:
    • Opening windows and/or doors on opposite sides of the building and using fans to blow outside air through the building OR
    • Optimizing ventilation provided by the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system by:
      • Having the HVAC system checked to assure that it is working properly. If it can be adjusted, the system should be set to provide at least 6 air exchanges per hour.
      • Maximizing the amount of outside air circulated by the system.
      • Installing filters with minimum efficiency reporting values (MERV) of 13, or the highest compatible with the filter rack.
      • Checking that the external air inlet duct is not blocked and that it is at least 15 feet from persons.
  • If applicable, encourage ventilation on the bus by opening windows.


  • Prior to reopening, educate seniors, caregivers, and staff about symptoms and prevention of COVID-19.
  • Ask people who are sick or have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 within the past 14 days to stay at home. Persons without any symptoms may end their quarantine period after day 14. Quarantine cannot be shortened for staff or seniors in adult day centers due to the high risk of severe disease if there is spread in these settings.
  • Persons who have been fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine when exposed to someone with COVID-19 if they meet the following criteria:
    • They are fully vaccinated, and it’s been at least 2 weeks after the last dose in the vaccine series.
    • They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.
  • Vaccination is not 100% effective.
    • Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should get tested.
    • Anyone who is positive for COVID-19 must isolate according to CDC guidelines.
    • After vaccination you must still wear a mask, keep your distance, and avoid crowds.
  • Post prominent signs at entrances to facilities, common rooms, and dining areas:
    • Encouraging physical distancing of at least 3 feet.
    • Mandating that all participants, caregivers, and staff wear KN95 masks.
  • If the individual with COVID-19 was present at the center during their infectious period, in-person activities for these exposed groups must be paused for 14 days following last exposure.
  • If applicable, maintain electronic roster of participants by designated bus to help facilitate contact tracing.

See also:

  • Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.
  • Call (800) 722-7112 to speak to a health care professional on the Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline.