Addressing Back-to-school COVID-19 Concerns
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.