MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Department of Public Health has released back-to-school guidance for the upcoming school year.
The ADPH’s “K-12 Back to School Guidance 2021-2022” includes recommendations based on the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Back to School guidelines “to ensure that school administrators and school nurses have the best health guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep students and staff safely in school.”
The ADPH said the recommendations are also based on “our best scientific understanding of how COVID-19 infects and spreads among students and educators.”
According to the ADPH, the CDC is encouraging schools to require masks and implement social distancing protocols to help keep students in the classroom, even if they are exposed to a positive COVID-19 case. Health officials are also recommending vaccinations for eligible students:
“Implementing universal masking, spacing, and vaccinations (when age-appropriate) recommendations will allow more students to remain in school, more parents and grandparents to remain at work, and most importantly prevent an outbreak in the school that could spread to the community at large.”
The health department said the proper use of masks and social distancing will help keep students who are too young for vaccinations remain in the classroom and mitigate the spread of the virus.
“If these guidelines are followed, no quarantine is required when a student has been exposed,” the guidance states.
Given new evidence on the delta variant, the CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. The CDC now recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.