Resources for Schools and School Systems Intending to Re-open School Year 2020-2021

All schools and local school systems that intend to reopen this school year for in-person classes and instruction should develop and implement a plan for reopening that addresses mitigating and controlling COVID-19 and should develop operational policies and procedures to protect the health and safety of students, parents and guardians, and staff.

Each reopening plan shall cover the following prevention and mitigation strategies to slow and limit COVID-19 exposure and spread. The links below are accurate and updated as of November 16, 2020.

Overall Guidance:

  1. MDH/MSDE “ Covid-19 Guidance for Maryland Schools” (updated 11.13.20)
    1. https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Documents/Nov%202020_%20MD%20Schools%20Guidance%20and%20Benchmarks.pdf
  2. MSDE “Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education: Covid-19 Response and the Path Forward” (June 2020):
    1. http://marylandpublicschools.org/newsroom/Documents/MSDERecoveryPlan.pdf
  3. MSDE/MDH School Health Services Frequently Asked Questions (NEW 10.23.20)
    1. https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Documents/SHS%20FAQ%20with%20Appendix_10.22.2020.pdf
  4. CDC “ Schools and Childcare Programs (Plan Prepare and Respond)” (updated 11.13.20):
    1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html
  5. CDC: “ Considerations for Monitoring and Evaluation of Mitigation Strategies Implemented in K-12 Schools” (updated 11.13.20):
    1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/monitoring-evaluation-k-12.html
  6. CDC “ Operating Schools During Covid-19: CDC Considerations” (updated 10.29.20):
    1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html
  7. CDC “Indicators for Dynamic School Decision Making” (9.15.20):
    1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/indicators.html

Links to specific areas to include:

  1. Face Coverings:
    1. MDH “ Guidance for Use of Cloth Face Coverings in Schools": (8.28.20)
      1. https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Documents/School%20Face%20Covering%20%20Update%201%20-%208.28.2020%20FINAL.pdf
    2. CDC " Guidance for K-12 Administrators on the Use of Masks in Schools" (8.11.20 and updated 10.29.20) :
      1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/cloth-face-cover.html
      2. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html
  2. Social Distance in Class:
    1. CDC “ Social Distancing”: (7.15.20)
      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/social-distancing.html
  3. Arrival Pre-screening:
    1. MDH “ Guidance for Temperature and Symptom Screening in Schools” (updated 11.13.20):
      1. https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Documents/Schools%20Temp%20Check%20Guidance%20Update%201%20FINALv2_11.13.20.pdf
    2. CDC: " Screening K-12 Students for Symptoms of Covid-19: Limitations and Considerations" (updated 11.5.20)
      1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/symptom-screening.html
  4. Cohorting:
    1. CDC “ Preparing K-12 School Administrators for a Safe Return to School in Fall 2020” (updated 10.29.20) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/prepare-safe-return.html##cohorting
  5. Transportation:
    1. CDC “ FAQ for School Administrators Opening Schools” (7.24.20):
      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools-faqs.html
  6. Notification to Parents:
    1. MDH: “Response to a Laboratory Confirmed Case of Covid-19 and Persons with Covid-19-like Illness in Schools” and "DECISION AID" (updated 11.13.20):
      1. https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Documents/COVID-19%20response%20for%20schools%20and%20decision%20aid_11.13.20.pdf
  7. Isolation, Exclusion, Quarantine and Return to School Plan; Preparing for when someone gets sick, AND Provide Contact Tracing Information to the Department of Health
    1. Summary: If the school nurse/school health services staff wore the recommended PPE (N95 respirator or equivalent, eye protection, gown, and gloves) when working with any individual with confirmed COVID-19 or COVID-19-like illness, quarantine is not required for close contact (MDH guidance, October 2020).
    2. MDH: “ Response to a Laboratory Confirmed Case of Covid-19 and Persons with Covid-19-like Illness in Schools” and “Decision Aid” (updated 11.13.20):
      1. https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Documents/COVID-19%20response%20for%20schools%20and%20decision%20aid_11.13.20.pdf
    3. MDH Interim Definition of Close Contact (updated 10.26.20)
      1. https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Documents/Interim%20MDH%20Close%20Contact%20Definition%2026Oct2020.pdf
    4. MSDE “Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education” June 2020
      1. http://marylandpublicschools.org/newsroom/Documents/MSDERecoveryPlan.pdf
        1. See Page 6
    5. CDC Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Work Restrictions for Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure to COVID-19 (updated 11.6.20)
      1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html
    6. CDC Information for School Nurses and Other Health Care Personnel (HCP) working in Schools and Childcare (NEW 11.13.20): 
      1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/school-nurses-hcp.html
    7. CDC Poster: “A Student is Showing Signs of Covid-19 and Needs to be Isolated: What Do I Do? Quick Guide for School Nurses” (NEW 11.10.20)
      1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community/schools-childcare/Infographics-for-School-Nurses.pdf
  8. Contact Tracing:
    1. CDC “ Interim Guidance for Case Investigations and Contact Tracing in K-12 Schools” (updated10.20.20):
      1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/contact-tracing.html
    2. MDH " Response to a Laboratory Confirmed Case of Covid-19 and Persons with Covid-19-like Illness in Schools" and “DECISION AID” (updated 11.13.20):
      1. https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Documents/COVID-19%20response%20for%20schools%20and%20decision%20aid_11.13.20.pdf
  1. Common Area Social Distance (in Hallways and Lobbies):
    1. CDC “ Schools and Childcare Programs” (updated 11.13.20 and 10.29.20)
      1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html
      2. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html
  2. Hand Hygiene:
    1. CDC “ Cleaning Disinfecting and Hand Hygiene in Schools - A Toolkit” (updated 11.9.20):
      1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/clean-disinfect-hygiene.html
  3. Dining Area:
    1. CDC “Operating Schools During Covid-19: CDC Considerations” (updated 10.29.20):
      1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html
  4. Health Suite Considerations:
    1. MSDE “Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education” June 2020
      1. http://marylandpublicschools.org/newsroom/Documents/MSDERecoveryPlan.pdf
        1. See Pages 46-49
        2. See Appendix D
    2. To include:
      1. Adequate PPE
      2. Management of aerosolized procedures (nebulizer treatments or suctioning)
      3. Isolation space for sick students
      4. Tracking procedures of sick/absent students/staff
  5. Cleaning/Disinfecting:
    1. CDC "Cleaning Disinfecting and Hand Hygiene in Schools- A Toolkit" (updated 11.9.20):
      1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/clean-disinfect-hygiene.html
  6. Other considerations:
    1. Communications Systems: "Schools and Child Care Programs" (updated 11.13.20)
      1. CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html
    2. Vulnerable Populations and Persons at Risk:
      1. CDC: "People with Disabilities" (9.11.20):
        1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-disabilities.html
      2. CDC "People at Increased Risk" (9.11.20):
        1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-disabilities.html
    3. Treatment of Aerosol Procedures:
      1. CDC "Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and work Restrictions for Health Care Personnel with Potential Exposure to Covid-19": (updated 11.6.20)
        1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html