AAP Highlights

Some details from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Social distancing “...is fundamental to lowering the risk of spread of SARS-CoV-2, as the primary mode of transmission is through respiratory droplets by persons in close proximity. Regardless of distance between students, cloth face coverings should be worn at all times in addition to following other public health guidance.

There is a conflict between optimal academic and social/emotional learning in schools and strict adherence to current physical distancing guidelines. For example, the CDC recommends that schools "space seating/desks at least 6 feet apart when feasible." In many school settings, 6 feet between students is not feasible without drastically limiting the number of students. Some countries have been able to successfully reopen schools after first controlling community-wide spread of SARS-CoV-2 while using 3 feet of distance between students without increases in community spread. Physical distance between desks should follow current public health guidance, and desks should be placed at least 3 feet apart and ideally 6 feet apart."

"Given what is known about SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics, adults within schools should maintain a distance of 6 feet from other people as much as possible, particularly around other adult staff. For all of the below settings, physical distancing by and among adults is strongly recommended, and meetings, break time, lunch, and curriculum planning should take place virtually or outside if possible. Current evidence for K-8 schools shows that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs primarily between adults, particularly teachers. Other strategies to increase adult-adult physical distance in time and space should be implemented, such as staggered drop-offs and pickups and drop-offs and pickups outside when weather allows, and staff should be encouraged to minimize contacts outside of schools. Parents should, in general, be discouraged from entering the school building. Physical barriers, such as plexiglass, should be considered in reception areas and employee workspaces where the environment does not accommodate physical distancing. Congregating in shared spaces, such as staff lounge areas, should not be allowed given the increasing evidence that these types of spaces have increased rates of transmission because of close proximity and lax adherence to masking recommendations.”