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New Guidance for Planning for the Safe Reopening of Schools for the 2020-2021 School Year [downloadable]

The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department today issued detailed guidance for school administrators to help them prepare to welcome students back to school campuses for the 2020-2021 school year, with the protocols and policies in place to protect students and staff from COVID-19.

The guidance, which was developed in partnership with the County Office of Education, provides detailed direction for schools on issues such as safe practices for in-class instruction, school arrival and departure, bus transportation, use of face coverings, handwashing, school cleaning, food service, extracurricular activities, and other topics. For use by school administrators, the document explains specific actions schools should take to prevent COVID-19 transmission and to respond to possible cases in the school setting.

“We need everyone in the community to strictly follow social distancing now so that children and teachers can safely return to school in the fall,” said County of Santa Clara Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody. “Schools and other institutions in our community can operate safely if they carefully follow all recommended public health practices, and they must move forward with their preparations now to ensure they have all the measures in place.”

Whether schools can move forward with reopening for in-person instruction in the fall will depend on the containment of COVID-19 in the weeks ahead.

Required and recommended prevention measures vary by age group. For example, elementary schools can limit risk by making sure students only have contact with their own teacher and other students in their class, while high schools can expect students to follow more stringent mask-wearing and social distancing expectations.

Prevention measures focus on the following key strategies:

  1. Minimizing the number of people who come into contact with each other.
  2. Maximizing the physical distance between people.
  3. Reducing the time that people spend in close proximity to others.
  4. Measures to minimize dispersion of droplets and aerosols.
  5. The full guidance and additional information for schools is available at sccgov.org/cv19schools.

View the original press release on the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department website. View or download the Reopening of Santa Clara County K-12 Schools guidance.

Source: County of Santa Clara Public Health Department | County of Santa Clara Public Health Department and County Office of Education Announce the Release of Guidance for Local K-12 Public and Private Schools To Facilitate Planning for the Safe Reopening of Schools for the 2020-2021 School Year, https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/press-release-06-30-2020-school-guidance.aspx | published June 30, 2020. public domain

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