Back to School Safety Precautions During COVID-19

schoolgirl in mask uses hand sanitizer

As we enter a new school year with COVID-19 still in the mix, many parents, students and school staff members may be wondering how to navigate returning to school safely. As UNICEF states, going back to school will likely look very different from what it did in the pre-COVID days, so it’s important for those going back into the schools to be prepared for a new normal.

According to UNICEF, school re-openings should be consistent with the country’s overall COVID-19 health response to protect students, staff, teachers and their families. Some measures that schools have considered taking to maintain safety include:

  • Staggering the start and close of the school day
  • Staggering mealtimes
  • Moving classes to temporary spaces or outdoors
  • Holding school in shifts, to reduce class size

If you’re wondering what measures you can take to ensure your and your family’s safety during school re-openings, here are a few key safety precautions to keep in mind when returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Wear a face mask.
    According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone should wear a cloth face mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Practice social distancing.
    The CDC recommends putting six feet of distance between you and people who don’t live in your household. In a school setting, this includes students, teachers, school administration, etc. Remember that some people without symptoms may have and be able to spread the virus.
  • Wash your hands frequently.,
    According to the CDC, you should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you’ve been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Visit CDC's website for more information on how you can stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.