New guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in July and August 2021 emphasizes the importance of returning all students to the classroom in the fall 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.
The extensive document provides recommendations for a range of mitigation strategies, including mask wearing, screening for symptoms, cleaning and sanitizing; and social distancing on buses and in classrooms and cafeterias. While guidance in early July recommended no masks for vaccinated students and staff, the latest version calls for wearing masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. In early August, the CDC adjusted its advice on screening, with a recommendation that vaccinated students who are exposed to the virus receive a test three to five 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.
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For more information, read:
Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in Kindergarten (K)-12 Schools (July 2021)
Guidance Update (August 2021)
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