Coronavirus Resources for Schools

Reopening of SantaClaraCounty K12 Schools

Contains resources from school districts and public health agencies.

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June 30, 2020 Page 2 Introduction and Overview This document is designed to assist in planning for the safer reopening of schools in Santa Clara County for the 2020-2021 school year. We recognize the importance of returning students to school campuses for in-person instruction, as well as the overarching need to protect the health and safety of our students, school staff, and broader community. The goal of this document is to help schools plan for and implement measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission in the school setting, while meeting the educational needs of all students. This document is intended to be applicable to all K-12 schools, public or private, throughout Santa Clara County. Early decisions on school closure by public health experts around the country were based heavily on knowledge and experience with influenza, a disease for which school-based transmission is a significant factor in community-wide spread of disease. While scientific data for COVID-19 is still limited, published studies suggest that the epidemiology of COVID-19 is distinct from that of influenza. Specifically, studies suggest: • COVID-19 disease prevalence among children is lower than in adults, and children who contract COVID-19 are more likely than adults to be asymptomatic or to have very mild symptoms. • Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a severe condition associated with COVID-19, remains rare. • Furthermore, in several studies, children were less likely to be the first case within a household, suggesting that child-to-adult transmission may be less common than adult- to-child transmission. • In other countries, where schools remained open or have recently reopened, cases in schoolchildren have been associated with few secondary cases in the school, suggesting that child-to-child transmission may also not be as significant as with influenza. • Analysis of data broken down further by age show that these trends are seen more in younger children compared to teenagers, whose disease patterns more closely parallel those of adults. These key findings have important implications for how we think about infection risk and play an important role in guiding our recommendations for preventing transmission in schools. Specifically, these findings suggest that COVID-19 transmission in schools is likely to be less widespread than influenza transmission, that adult-to-child transmission is greater than child-to- child transmission, and that transmission risks among younger children appear to be lower than older children. Education, just like healthcare and food provision, is an essential service in our community, and as such, the reopening of school campuses for in-person instruction with strict safety protocols should be prioritized. School closures magnify socioeconomic, racial, and other inequities among students. The students most impacted by school closures are those without access to technologies that facilitate distance learning, those whose parents comprise a disproportionate share of our community's essential workforce and may be less available to provide instructional

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