We are an independent, solution-oriented think tank at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy.Learn More.

CDC and School District Strategies on How, When To Reopen Schools

Guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasizes the importance of returning all students to the classroom and provides a blueprint for how schools can reopen safely for in-person instruction, especially for students and staff members who are not yet vaccinated against Covid-19.

In late February, the CDC announced that students and teachers should not wear masks indoors unless there is a high level of Covid transmission in the community. Late last year, the CDC reduced the recommended days for isolating infected students and staff and quarantining those exposed to them from 10 to five days. A November 2021 update provided recommendations for a range of mitigation strategies.  In October, the CDC adjusted its advice on screening, with a recommendation that vaccinated students who are exposed to the virus receive a test five to seven days after exposure. In this graphic, FutureEd summarizes the key strategies and provided examples of what schools and districts did in the past year to address reopening challenges.

Click here or on the image for interactive graphic

For more information, read:

Education Department Guide: 2022: Staying in School in Person
Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in Kindergarten (K)-12 Schools (July 2021)
Guidance Update (August 2021)
Guidance Update (November 2021)
Quarantine Update (January 2022)
Isolation Update (January 2022)
CDC School Operation Strategy
May 2021 Revised Guidance
CDC Mitigation Toolkit
Checklist for Teacher and Staff
How Do I Set Up My Classroom?
School Walkthrough Guide
Education Department COVID Handbook

Research by Brooke LePage, Bella DiMarco, Robert Nishimwe, and Vasilisa Smith
Graphic by Merry Alderman Design