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

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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 administers 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, foundational components of school safety plans, recommended interventions for K-12 schools, 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. Read our executive summary document, which outlines key informational priorities discussed in this policy review. 

As additional evidence becomes available, the team will update this guidance. Please reach out to Meredith Matone (MatoneM@email.chop.edu) or Deanna Marshall (MarshallDB@email.chop.edu) with any questions. 


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