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Addressing Back-to-school COVID-19 Concerns

Back to School

There are so many health and wellness actions to take as we start the 2020-21 school year in Michigan. We’ve compiled a few top priorities to keep top of mind.

Avoid Disease Transmission

Have an age-appropriate conversation with students about how to prevent diseases from spreading:

  • Always wear a face covering and make sure it covers both your nose and mouth
  • Avoid high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches and hand railings   
  • Don’t share items with other students    
  • Don’t touch the face including the nose, mouth or eyes
  • Follow good cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep a personal, alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol handy
  • Stay at least six feet or more away from others

Keep Personal Belongings and Living Areas Clean

Establish daily routines focused on COVID-19 prevention for before and after school:

  • After returning from school, have students immediately wash their hands
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily in the home
  • Pack a personal water bottle
  • Pack hand sanitizer
  • Pack multiple face masks labeled with the student’s name stored in a reusable container
  • Practice putting on and taking off masks without touching the cloth
  • Stay up to date on any notices from school or community organizations regarding COVID-19 outbreaks
  • Wash reusable face masks after each day

Participate in Prevention

Students and families can help keep each other safe:

  • If a student has a temperature of 99.9 F/37.8 C or higher, they should not go to school
  • If a student has been exposed to a COVID-19 case, they should not go to school
  • Keep in mind children and adults can be COVID-19 positive and completely asymptomatic but able to spread the virus
  • Make sure students are up to date on recommended vaccines, including the seasonal flu vaccine
  • Monitor students for symptoms including fever, sore throat, cough, diarrhea, severe headache, shortness of breath or body aches

Understand the Big Picture

  • Be aware of signs of stress or behavioral changes.
    • Prioritize self-care and emotional well-being by building fun activities into routines.
    • Be sure to take breaks, stay active, get enough sleep and eat healthy meals.
  • Prepare young children for how and why school will be different this year.  
    • Withdrawal, excessive worrying or sadness, unhealthy eating and sleeping habits or difficulty concentrating can be early signs that children and teens are stressed or experiencing anxiety.