COVID-19 and Kids: How can teachers and staff reduce COVID-19 risk in schools

Schools can reduce the spread of COVID-19, but there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of the virus. To lessen the risk of COVID-19, schools, teachers, and staff should follow these guidelines:

REQUIREMENTS

✓ REQUIRE CLOTH FACE COVERINGS

Require cloth face coverings for everyone over the age of 2 while indoors.

✓ IMPLEMENT SANITATION PROTOCOLS
Set up hand washing stations for students and staff and provide a 70% alcohol based hand sanitizer in the classrooms. 

Provide sanitizing supplies for staff to clean classrooms and high-touch surfaces frequently. 

✓ REQUIRE TEMPERATURE CHECKS 
All students and staff should take their temperature before arriving at school. Anyone with a temperature above 100 degrees should not come to school. Remember:It is best to do this when you are relaxed. If a student or staff member has been exercising or has spent time outdoors in the heat, wait 20 minutes or more before taking your temperature. 
ENVIRONMENT

✓ HAVE TEACHERS MOVE BETWEEN CLASSROOMS, NOT STUDENTS

This will reduce congregating in hallways and help to maintain physical distancing.

✓ LEAVE DOORS OPEN
This will reduce the need for touching high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs) and increase indoor ventilation.

✓ STUDENTS SHOULD EAT AT THEIR DESKS OR OUTDOORS 
This will reduce congregating in lunchrooms or cafeterias.

✓ PLACE ARROWS OR STICKERS ON THE FLOOR TO MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCING
This will remind students not to congregate in hallways and help students and staff maintain a 6 feet distance from others. 

✓ PLACE DESKS OR WORKSPACES 6 FEET APART
At all times, students should maintain physical distancing. 
If possible, use a physical barrier (e.g., plexiglass or plastic sheeting) between workspaces.

✓ CLOSE WATER FOUNTAINS – OR PROVIDE SANITIZING WIPES
Buy compostable disposable cups that can be placed near water fountains or have students bring their own refillable water bottles.  

✓ USE OUTDOOR SPACES WHENEVER POSSIBLE
When weather permits, use outdoor spaces for teaching, eating, exercising, and physically-distanced breaks.

✓ OPEN WINDOWS WHENEVER POSSIBLE
Opening windows will increase air exchange and reduce the risk of airborne transmission within the classroom. 
TRANSPORTATION
✓ ASSIGN SEATS ON SCHOOL BUSES
Limit seating and follow physical distancing guidelines by spacing children at least 6 feet apart whenever possible.
If children have other means of transportation, suggest that they use those alternate options.

✓ OPEN WINDOWS IF POSSIBLE
Opening windows, even just a small amount, will increase ventilation.

✓ REQUIRE CLOTH FACE COVERINGS WHILE ON BUSES  
Cloth face coverings should be worn while using any transportation with individuals outside of the home.

✓ STAGGER PICK UP OR DROP OFF TIMES 
Staggering these times will reduce the amount of students congregating outside.
Another option is to add clear markings for students to follow when coming off or onto a bus.

✓ DISCOURAGE CARPOOLING WITH MEMBERS OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSEHOLD
Suggest using personal transportation (car, biking, walking) to maintain physical distancing from others. If this is not possible, be sure to emphasize the importance of wearing a face covering in any public transportation (bus, city transit, carpooling with others, etc.).
ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR SCHOOLS
IF POSSIBLE:
✓ OFFER COUNSELING AND MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
Many families and children are experiencing hardship, confusion, and stress during these unprecedented times.

✓ OFFER NUTRITIOUS MEALS FOR STUDENTS
With current financial constraints, many students may meet the requirements for free and reduced lunches. Whenever possible, provide additional meals and nutrition support for students. 

✓ AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES SHOULD FOLLOW PHYSICAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES
All activities should maintain physical distancing and cloth face coverings should be required while indoors. 
Limit the number of students that participate in after-school activities.
For more guidance on this topic, visit this link.

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