Mpox Toolkit for Schools and Early Care and Education Programs
Who should use this toolkit?
Administrators and staff members of schools and early care and education (ECE) programs. Administrators and staff members of other educational, recreational, and childcare settings, such as camps and sports leagues, can also use this toolkit.
What is this toolkit about?
This toolkit provides helpful resources for administrators, staff, and health services providers.
How should I use this toolkit?
School and ECE administrators can find relevant key resources for their populations, including links to share with their staff, health services providers, students, and parents and caregivers.
At this time, the risk of mpox to children and teens in the United States is low. Schools and ECE should follow their everyday operational guidance that reduces the spread of infectious diseases. This includes:
- Encouraging children, students, and staff (paid and unpaid) to stay home when sick
- Allowing students who are sick to stay home and complete schoolwork online
- Providing access to handwashing supplies, including soap and water
- Maintaining a cleaning and disinfecting routine, including cleaning sports gear and washing uniforms
- Identifying private spaces for assessment of an ill child or student away from others
- In residential settings, identifying spaces to isolate someone who is sick with an infectious disease
- Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff who care for children and students with infectious diseases
Several illnesses can cause a rash. For someone without a known exposure to mpox, settings should follow their standard illness policies for medical evaluation requirements in these situations. A healthcare provider can determine what treatment or testing is needed.
It is important to avoid stigma and fear-based exclusion of children and students. If someone with mpox comes in contact with others, the health department will help provide guidance for appropriate actions to prevent the spread of the virus in child-serving settings.
- Learn more about the signs and symptoms and how long mpox lasts: Signs & Symptoms
- Learn more about how mpox spreads: How It Spreads
- Learn more about when and where to get tested and what to expect: Testing
- Learn more about the recommended prevention steps to protect you and your community: Prevention
- Learn the basics about mpox vaccination, including who should get vaccinated, where to get vaccinated, cost, and more: Vaccines
- Learn what you can do to take care of yourself as you recover, including managing symptoms and rash relief: If You Are Sick
- If someone with mpox has been in a school or ECE
- Communicate with parents and caregivers if there is a case of mpox in the setting
- Returning to the school or ECE
- If children, students, or staff have been exposed to a person with mpox
- If a person who has been exposed to mpox develops symptoms
- Residential settings such as overnight camps and boarding schools should follow the considerations for congregate settings
- If a parent or caregiver has mpox and cannot isolate from their child
- Identifying key characteristics of mpox in students and staff
- Understand monitoring needed for exposed students and staff
- How to prepare and label specimens collected for mpox testing
- Understand guidance for infection control for mpox in healthcare settings
- Understand who may benefit from vaccination
Schools and health departments can use this letter template to inform the school community when a potential exposure has taken place. The letter can also be used to provide more specific information to those who were possibly exposed. Download Letter Template [23 KB, 1page]