CDC Releases Latest School Reopening Guidelines
Strict cleaning protocols needed as federal guidelines recommend in-person classes
As school facility managers and custodians await instructions on reopening plans for education facilities across the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its latest guidelines that favor opening schools to in-person classes.
However, the CDC’s guidelines also recommend that school officials close schools or keep them closed if the area where the school is located is experiencing substantial COVID-19 cases and uncontrolled transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The guidelines state that children appear to be at lower risk for contracting COVID-19 compared to adults. As of July 17, CDC statistics reported that children and adolescents under 18 years old account for less than 7% of COVID-19 cases and less than 0.1% of COVID-19-related deaths.
However, adults working in schools, such as custodians, have expressed concerns that asymptomatic students may unwittingly spread the novel coronavirus to at-risk people if schools do not put precautions in place to test students and enforce social distancing. The CDC concurs that schools should work closely with local health officials to make decisions on whether to maintain school operations keeping in mind the health and safety of not only students, but also teachers, staff, and their families.
The CDC guidelines suggest that school administrators consider keeping students in small groups to reduce the risk of spread. They also encourage frequent cleaning and disinfection of classrooms as well as the use of social distancing, hand hygiene, and face masks.
Learn how school custodians can do their part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and what challenges they can expect for the upcoming school year.