Update from The CDC on Guidelines for Schools

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Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Prevention

Updated Mar. 19, 2021 / Languages Print

Summary of Recent Changes

Updates as of March 19, 2021

  • Revised physical distancing recommendations to reflect at least 3 feet between students in classrooms and provide clearer guidance when a greater distance (such as 6 feet) is recommended.
  • Clarified that ventilation is a component of strategies to clean and maintain healthy facilities.
  • Removed recommendation for physical barriers.
  • Clarified the role of community transmission levels in decision-making.
  • Added guidance on interventions when clusters occur.

View Previous Updates

Key Points

  1. Evidence suggests that many K-12 schools that have strictly implemented prevention strategies have been able to safely open for in-person instruction and remain open.
  2. CDC’s K-12 operational strategy presents a pathway for schools to provide in-person instruction safely through consistent use of prevention strategies, including universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing.
  3. All schools should implement and layer prevention strategies and should prioritize universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing.
  4. Testing to identify individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination for teachers and staff provide additional layers of COVID-19 protection in schools.