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New Resource Lays Out Evidence and Considerations for School Reopenings

As communities begin to resume normal activities, it’s essential to start considering strategies to safely reopen schools in the U.S.—from preschool, to K-12, to higher education—following their closure for the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response, PolicyLab Director David Rubin, MD, MSCE, Scientific Director Meredith Matone, DrPH, MHS, and researcher Deanna Marshall, MPH, and colleagues from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Division of Infectious Diseases, developed a comprehensive review of interventions to guide local jurisdictions and school administrators in their planning to safely reopen schools and protect their students and staff. This review incorporates emerging evidence that can guide safety protocols, highlights where there is limited research, and features the experiences of school districts and universities across the world.

Some interventions that may reduce transmission risk among children in K-12 cited in this resource include:

  • Flexible attendance policies for students, teachers and staff
  • Increased capacity of school health services
  • Minimizing contact between groups of students in hallways and other common spaces
  • Increased ventilation in learning spaces and hallways

The policy review also includes special considerations for higher education and boarding schools.

Read the policy review here, and be sure to view our updated county-level projections for COVID-19 cases based on current social distancing practices here.