Guidance for K-12


  • Encourage staff and students to stay home when sick.   
  • Remind children and staff to appropriately cover coughs and sneezes. 
  • Keep sick students and staff separate from well students and staff until sick students and staff can be sent home. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces 
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Social distancing

  • Discourage children and teens from gathering in other public places while school is dismissed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community.   


  • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs, light switches, countertops, tables) with the cleaners typically used. Use all cleaning products according to the directions on the label. 
    • Clean dirty surfaces with soap and water OR bottled ready-to-use cleaner first. Products that clean well include dish soap, Formula 409, OxiClean, and Windex. 
    • After cleaning, disinfect surfaces to kill the virus and allow to dry completely. For hard surfaces use bottled disinfectants like Clorox Cleaner with Bleach, Lysol, or mix your own (1/3 c regular bleach to 1 gal water). For porous surfaces,  use a disinfectant appropriate for material (see label). When doing laundry,  wash according to label using warmest setting possible and allow to dry completely in a clothes dryer. 
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be wiped down by staff before each use.   

Planning, looking ahead 

  • Review, update, and implement Emergency Operations Plan (EOPS). 
  • Review usual absenteeism patterns at your school among both students and staff. 
  • Alert your local public health department about large increases in student/staff absenteeism, particularly if absences appear due to respiratory illnesses.   
  • Create communications plans for sharing verified information with staff, students and their families.   
  • Share authoritative resources with staff and families.  
  • Support flexible attendance and sick leave policies for students and staff.   
  • Identify strategies and technologies to continue educating students if schools close.  
  • Plan for spring break travel. Review updated CDC information for travelers, including FAQ for travelers, and consult with state and local health officials. Health officials may use CDC’s Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Exposure in Travel-associated or Community Settings to make recommendations. Individuals returning from travel to areas with community spread of COVID-19 must follow guidance they have received from health officials.  

What to do if you have a confirmed case 

  • Contact your local public health department. Childcare and school administrators should work in close collaboration and coordination with local health officials to make dismissal and large event cancellation decisions.   
  • Implement a plan to continue educating students through virtual learning, if possible. 
  • If schools are dismissed, schools can consider the following steps: 
    • Temporarily cancel extracurricular group activities and large events. 
    • Discourage students and staff from gathering or socializing anywhere. 
    • Ensure continuity of education. 
    • Ensure continuity of meal programs. 
  • Seek guidance to determine when students and staff should return to schools.  

For more information 

CDC’s Guidance for Schools and Childcare

CDC’s Checklist for Teachers and Parents

Zoom is temporarily lifting the 40-minute time limit on free Basic accounts for schools affected by the Coronavirus