Policy Review: Evidence and Guidance for In-person Schooling during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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NOTE: We plan to issue an updated policy review in advance of the 2021-22 school year that takes into consideration the latest evidence and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for timely notification of our updated guidance.

With schools in the U.S— from preschool, to K-12, to higher education—safely reopening following their closure for the COVID-19 pandemic by adhering to important recommended mitigation strategies, our experts, alongside colleagues within Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Division of Infectious Diseases, updated and expanded upon a previous version of school reopening guidance from August 2020 to provide the latest evidence and continued support to local jurisdictions and school administrators as they negotiate the dynamic challenges of this pandemic and plan for the future.

This document contains a review of the evidence for school operations during the pandemic, updated incremental strategies for reopening schools and keeping them open, foundational components of school safety plans, recommended interventions for K-12 schools, options for testing in school-based settings, and much more.

To inform this review, PolicyLab has been tracking the published literature, scientific pre-prints, global school reopening policies and early anecdotal experiences. The experts also reviewed guidance from public health and educational institutions related to schools, occupational safety and child health more broadly in the context of COVID-19. 

Please reach out to Meredith Matone (MatoneM@chop.edu) or Deanna Marshall (MarshallDB@chop.edu) with any questions. 


Rubin D, Matone M, Marshall D, Gerber J, Coffin S, Fisher B