Whether you’re back in school now or planning to return later in the school year, we know you’re thinking about how to keep everyone safe during in-person instruction. The CDC released its considerations for operating schools during COVID-19. There’s a lot that schools need to keep in mind, but where students are concerned, the rules for helping to stay healthy can be summed up in these “big five”:
1. Keep 6 feet apart
The CDC recommends keeping a distance of at least six feet from other people. Physical guides, including tape or stickers on floors, one-way routes in hallways, and posters that show kids what 6 feet looks like, can be very helpful. In places where physical distancing is difficult, it’s especially important to wear masks.
2. Cover your cough and sneeze
Covering coughs and sneezes can help prevent the spread of germs. Remind kids not to cough or sneeze into their hands! Instead, they should use their elbow. It might help them to pretend they’re a superhero covering their mouth with their cape, “think like a vampire,” or even hit the dab!
3. Wash your hands
Students and staff should practice frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. In addition to the typical key times we tell kids to wash up, they should wash after coming into contact with high-touch areas like doorknobs and light switches as well as before touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.
4. Stay home if you’re sick
Be sure to educate families, but make sure kids know when they should stay home as well. Students should stay home if they have tested positive or are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
5. Wear a mask
As a barrier against airborne respiratory droplets, the CDC strongly recommends masks when students and staff are indoors and whenever social distancing isn’t possible. Teach kids the proper way to mask up: wash your hands, place the mask over your nose and mouth, secure it under your chin, don’t touch!