Guidance for K-12 school administrators on the use of cloth face coverings in schools
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Guidance for K-12 school administrators on the use of cloth face coverings in schools

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  • English

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    • Description:
      Updated July 23, 2020

      CDC suggests that all school reopening plans address adherence to behaviors that prevent the spread of COVID-19. When used consistently and correctly, important mitigation strategies, cloth face coverings are important to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Other important mitigation strategies include social distancing, washing hands, and regular cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces in schools and buses. CDC provides considerations for wearing cloth face coverings and recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around people who live outside of their household. The use of cloth face coverings is especially important when social distancing is difficult to maintain.

      Cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. Cloth face coverings are an example of source control. Several studies1-13 have documented asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 transmission; meaning that people with COVID-19 who never develop symptoms (asymptomatic) and those who are not yet showing symptoms (pre-symptomatic) can still transmit the virus to other people. Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected. Cloth face coverings are not personal protective equipment, such as surgical masks or respirators.

      The use of cloth face coverings in educational settings may present challenges, particularly for younger students and students with special healthcare or educational needs. This document provides guidance to help school administrators decide how to best implement the wearing of cloth face coverings ― in their school settings and facilities, including but not limited to buses and other shared transportation.

      Education and promotion of positive and supportive relationships should remain the primary focus of school administrators, teachers, and staff. This guidance provides K-12 school administrators with strategies to encourage students to wear face coverings, consistent with CDC guidance, while maintaining a positive learning environment.

    • Content Notes:
      General Considerations -- Unintended Consequences -- Practical Recommendations -- Additional Considerations for the Use of Cloth Face Coverings among K-12 Students -- Strategies to Support Students’ Wearing Cloth Face Coverings in Schools: All Students; Elementary School Settings; Middle School Settings; High School Settings; Students with Special Healthcare Needs -- References.
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