Amid uncertainty over when in-person education can resume, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued guidelines for schools on how to safely reopen.
The CDC released a set of “decision tools” on its website to help schools to determine whether they are in a position to reopen. For K-12 schools, there are basic guidelines that ask questions like, “Are you able to screen students and employees upon arrival for symptoms and history of exposure?” and, “Will reopening be consistent with applicable state and local orders?” If schools don’t meet the basic requirements, the CDC recommends they do not open.
If a school meets the basic criteria, the CDC outlines “recommended health and safety actions” and “ongoing monitoring” criteria that schools must meet. Examples include promoting “healthy hygiene practices,” encouraging social distancing, and planning for outbreaks. Once schools meet these requirements, they are encouraged to open with caution.
Here’s one illustration, via the CDC.
The CDC did not give exact percentages or numbers of cases that schools must meet, and that should give school districts a bit more freedom in how they go about reopening.
The CDC also released guidelines for when to reopen colleges, workplaces, public spaces, and retirement facilities, and others. Here’s all you need to know about how to reopen K-12 schools.