Phase Guidance for Virginia Schools – Commonwealth of Virginia

The following guidance is intended to mitigate risk of COVID-19 transmission in public and
private prek-12 school settings, while supporting the resumption of peer-to-peer learning and
providing crucial support for parents and guardians returning to work. Schools, working together
with local health departments, have an important role in slowing the spread of diseases and
protecting vulnerable students and staff, to help ensure students have safe and healthy learning
These recommendations should be implemented in accordance with Forward Virginia Blueprint,
any existing Executive Orders, CDC Interim Guidance for Schools and Daycamps, CDC
Considerations for Schools, and in partnership with local and state public health officials. The
school reopening phases are aligned with the existing Forward Virginia phases, through which
the state will progress by monitoring public health data and key measures on disease
transmission, healthcare capacity, testing capacity, public health capacity to trace contacts of
cases, and other relevant factors. Community mitigation strategies (e.g. physical distancing,
enhanced cleaning, etc.) will be necessary across all phases to decrease the spread of COVID-19.
This guidance document, which is aligned with the interim CDC guidance for schools, serves as a
recommendation for Virginia schools to mitigate risks associated with COVID-19. Divisions
should make decisions on implementing such guidance, and assuming additional risk, in
consultation with local health departments and school board attorneys. Public health conditions
and practical limitations may inform decisions to deviate from the guidance. Resources, such as
the CDC Guidance for Schools may also be helpful to communities with no or minimal
community transmission of COVID-19.
This document reflects current guidance and recommendations, and recommendations are
intended to reduce, not eliminate, risk of transmission of COVID-19. Because COVID-19 is a
novel disease, this literature is growing rapidly, and new information is emerging almost every
day. This information is subject to change as more is learned about the prevention and control of

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