Guidance for Schools and Child Care Programs

Before and During an Outbreak

At all times…

  1. Encourage your staff or community members to protect their personal health.

  2. Post the signs and symptoms of COVID-19:
    fever, cough, shortness of breath.

  3. Encourage people to stay home when sick.

  4. Clean surfaces that are frequently touched – things such as shared desks, countertops, kitchen areas, electronics, and doorknobs.

  5. Limit events and meetings that require close contact.

  6. Stay up to date on developments in your community.

  7. Create an emergency plan for possible outbreak.

  8. Assess if community members are at higher risk and plan accordingly.

During an outbreak in your area

  1. Send home or separate anyone who becomes sick.
  2. If you identify a case, inform people who might have been exposed.
  3. Continue to safely clean and disinfect the person's area.
  4. Connect with your local health departments.
  5. Cancel large meetings or events.
  6. Put your infectious disease outbreak plan into action.

School with bus icon.

Specific guidance for schools and programs

  • Make hand cleaning supplies readily available.
  • Encourage students and staff to stay home if sick.
  • Monitor absenteeism.
  • Plan for digital and distance learning.
  • Be prepared to temporarily dismiss or close schools and cancel events.
    • Short term dismissals for cleaning and contact tracing if you have a case.
    • Longer dismissals if you have substantial spread in your area.
  • Plan ways to continue student services such as school meal programs if schools close.
  • Stagger staffing or schedules to reduce in-person interaction.
  • Work with your local health department for guidance on closures and re-openings.