Coronavirus | USA

What are the CDC guidelines to schools reopening in the US?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a series of guidelines to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 among pupils and staff.

What are the CDC guidelines to schools reopening in the US?
LARRY W. SMITH EFE

As a number of schools and kindergartens look to re-open across the country, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) issued a series of key guidelines that all education facilities should adhere to in an effort to help protect students, teachers, administrators, and staff in a bid to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

The guidelines state that: "Schools can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials to the extent possible, whether and how to implement these considerations while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community," the CDC guidelines say. "Implementation should be guided by what is feasible, practical, acceptable, and tailored to the needs of each community."

Key CDC guidelines

Wearing of face masks for older students (children under two are advised not to wear masks) and staff members, this is particularly recommended in cases when physical distancing isn't possible.

Encourage teaching and support staff along with pupils to refrain from coming to the educational centre if ill or having been close contact with someone who is sick.

Promote good hygiene practices such as regular handwashing for at least 20 seconds, making hand sanitizer available in the absence of soap and water, and sneezing into tissues.

All high-touch surfaces are to be extensively cleaned at least once a day.

Adapt classroom layouts to ensure that a minimum of a 6 foot distance is observed by all students. If this is physically impractical, it's suggested that partitions are put in place to maintain social distancing.

Students practice social distancing amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak at an elementary school in DaejeonStudents practice social distancing amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak at an elementary school in Daejeon, South Korea, May

Stagger the use of communal eating areas and playgrounds with each area to be disinfected after use.

Encourage students to bring their own individual daily food supplies in a lunch box.

Encourage a policy of tiered drop-off and pickup times to ensure the avoidance of areas of overcrowding at the same time.

Ensure that Covid-19 prevention guidelines are well sign posted throughout the centre with regular social distancing and other prevention advice communicated via the school PA system.