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SAN JOSE, CA – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released new COVID-19 health guidance for K-12 schools that will become effective July 1, 2022. This new guidance addresses COVID-19 safety mitigation strategies, hygiene, and the responsibilities of schools and families.
“As we continue to live alongside COVID-19, the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff will remain a top priority,” said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Ann Dewan. “Our collective actions to utilize proven safety measures keep children in classrooms for in-person instruction, which is critical to their development.”
The state strongly recommends all eligible people get vaccinated and remain up-to-date with their vaccinations to reduce transmission of the virus. It is recommended that schools review immunization requirements for children entering TK-12 schools, as children have fallen behind on other vaccinations during the pandemic.
Schools should follow CDPH recommendations to improve indoor air quality. When outdoor air quality is poor, schools should confer with local health officials to determine the best approach.
No one can be prevented from wearing a mask in an activity, unless the mask would pose a safety hazard.
Schools are required to develop and implement local protocols to provide masks to students who do not bring one to school or desire to use one. It is recommended students and staff follow CDPH masking guidance. Students who have COVID-19 and remain without symptoms can participate in all aspects of schools, which includes sports and extracurricular activities, while wearing a mask.
Antigen tests are recommended as the primary option for detecting COVID-19 outbreaks in schools, instead of PCR tests. It is recommended students and staff test prior to returning to school following major breaks.
It is strongly recommended that students wear a mask and test immediately if they show symptoms. They should follow CDPH recommendations for retesting and isolating in the result of a positive case. Students diagnosed with COVID-19 are encouraged to follow CDPH’s guidance of staying home for at least 5 days and wearing a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days, especially indoors.
Families are encouraged to notify schools if their child has COVID-19 and was present on school grounds during their infectious period. That school should notify students who spent 15 cumulative minutes in a shared indoor space with someone who has COVID-19. Schools can consider sending general notifications to an entire school during times of high community transmission.
Schools should teach and reinforce proper hand washing and ensure adequate supplies to support hand hygiene. Properly covering coughs and sneezes should be taught and reinforced to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Drinking fountains may be used by students and staff, however routine cleaning is recommended.
The state requires employers to provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave for most workers through September 30, 2022.
Schools are encouraged to develop criteria for managing students who develop symptoms of infectious diseases.
To review the most recent updates to COVID-19 guidelines for TK-12 schools, visit the CDPH website.
About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 22 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.
For more information about the Santa Clara County Office of Education, please visit www.sccoe.org and follow us @SCCOE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.