COVID-19: Information for Schools
Make sure staff and families know where to find accurate information.
Model and encourage healthy habits.
We can all take these steps to safeguard our health.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water and for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
- Stay at home and away from others if you are sick.
- Get your flu shot if you haven’t yet. Flu activity in the county is still elevated.
How can schools reduce anxiety in students surrounding COVID-19?
Teach students how they can protect themselves against all respiratory illnesses. Current evidence suggests that the illness in children is generally mild. Elderly people with underlying health conditions are more seriously affected.
Share these tools with students:
- National Public Radio’s comic strip: Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus.
- CDC’s infographic on how to stop the spread of germs in all ages.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s guide to help children and youth cope after traumatic events.
Worry and misunderstanding can create fear and mistrust toward people. Disease doesn’t discriminate against race, nationality, or ethnicity and neither should we.
Review and update your emergency operations plan.
Update your plan to include information about COVID-19. You don’t need to start from scratch—you can update your plan from 2009’s H1N1 pandemic.
These tools can help shape your plan.
- CDC—Interim guidance for schools.
- FEMA—Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations.
- CDC—Colleges and Universities Pandemic Influenza Checklist.
- CDC—Interim Guidance for Administrators of U.S. Institutions of Higher Education.
- OSPI—COVID-19 Guidance, Resources and School Closures
Include this information in the plan:
- Contact information for the Health Department.
- Options for virtual learning or a plan to make up days if your school closes.
- Process for sharing information with students and families.
Help reduce the COVID-19 stigma
Worry and misunderstanding can create fear and mistrust toward people. Disease doesn’t discriminate against race, nationality, or ethnicity and neither should we. Use these resources to help reduce social stigmas:
- Department of Health—Stigma reduction.
- CDC—Stigma related to COVID-19.
- Department of Health—It takes all of us to reduce stigma during disease outbreaks.
- King County—Anti stigma resources.