Federal health officials are urging schools to resume in-person teaching this fall with layers of protection including vaccines, masks for anyone not fully vaccinated, and a 3-foot gap between students in schools. classroom.
Anyone aged 12 and over is eligible to be vaccinated. The CDC has called vaccination “one of the most critical strategies to help schools return to operations safely.”
Schools can help improve rates by promoting immunization, organizing information sessions, allowing excused absences for immunization, helping teachers and students find locations for vaccines, and serving as referral sites. vaccination.
Face masks should be worn indoors by anyone 2 years of age and older who is not fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Outdoors, masks are only needed in crowds or during activities with sustained close contact with unvaccinated people.
The CDC notes that some schools may choose to require masking for everyone, regardless of immunization status. Anyone traveling on a school bus must wear a mask even if they are vaccinated, by CDC command. Schools are recommended to provide masks to students who need them.
The CDC continues to recommend that students in classrooms stay 3 feet apart. It requires 6 feet of space between students and adults and between adults.
Not being able to maintain these space recommendations should not prevent schools from conducting in-person learning and increases the importance of using protective layers.
Schools may choose to keep students and teachers in cohorts, small groups that stay together and have limited interactions with others. However, cohorts should not be based on vaccination status.
The CDC recommends testing people who are not fully vaccinated to help identify those who are infected. This test should be done at least once a week and the results should be reported within 24 hours. A table in the guide provides details on when testing is recommended based on activity, person, and level of community transmission.
Contact tracing, isolation and quarantine
Anyone who is sick should stay home and get tested. A CDC Chart provides actions to take if a student becomes ill or is diagnosed with COVID-19. The CDC also has detailed guidance on contact search, insulation and quarantine if a person is diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19.
Fully vaccinated and asymptomatic people do not need to self-quarantine or get tested after being exposed to an infected person.
As local transmission of the virus decreases, schools may decide to remove some of these measures. The CDC recommends that if schools decide to remove prevention measures, they remove them one at a time and closely monitor the impact before removing another.
Schools should also change measures to protect children People with Disabilities or other health problems, if necessary.
Sports and extracurricular activities
Unvaccinated students participating in indoor sports should continue to wear masks and distance themselves as much as possible. Schools should consider using screening tests for people who are not vaccinated before these events to facilitate safe participation and reduce the risk of transmission.
Students who are not fully immunized and who show symptoms of COVID-19 should not participate in sports or extracurricular activities and should be tested.