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Addressing Back-to-school COVID-19 Concerns

Back to School
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.  
A Healthier Michigan
Author: A Healthier Michigan

Our mission is to help everyone in Michigan get healthier from the inside out. This means everything from giving you resources to help you make better decisions about diet and exercise, as well as information on creating and sustaining nurturing communities and successful businesses — everything you need to help create a healthier Michigan.