The CDC released suggestions for safely reopening schools in the fall, aiming to protect students, teachers, administrators, and staff while continuing to slow the spread of COVID-19


The CDC released guidelines for the reopening of schools in May, but now that the start of school is inching closer, the CDC is emphasizing safe reopening. The CDC is suggesting ways in which schools can help protect students, teachers, administrators, and staff, all while continuing to slow the spread of COVID-19. According to the CDC, “Schools can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials … whether and how to implement these considerations while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. Implementation should be guided by what is feasible, practical, acceptable, and tailored to the needs of each community.” ~

The guidelines entail strategies in which schools can decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19. The CDC suggests educating staff, students, and parents on when to stay home if a case appears to keep themselves and others safe. Hand hygiene and face coverings such as washing hands before and after activities and wearing masks are highly recommended. Schools are also encouraged to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and any object that could be shared in the classroom. Communal spaces are said to be shut down to decrease the ability of students to congregate and physical barriers are encouraged in areas where social distancing is difficult. Schools that allow for small groups to stay together for the majority of the day are recommended to keep those groups together to decrease interaction between students. Staggering schedules and partial to full-time online school is also encouraged if the risk of infection increases or students or staff are unable to attend school on a day to day basis. ~

If a positive case is recorded, health officials must also be notified and schools are required to isolate students who could have had contact with that student. Schools must also clean and disinfect the places in which the sick individual was and wait twenty-four hours before using the space again. The CDC reminds that “these considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which schools must comply.” ~


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