Reopening TK-12 Schools for In-Person, On-Site Instruction Preliminary Guidance for School Year 2020-2021

TK-12 schools in San Francisco were closed for in-person instruction in March 2020 due
to concerns about the possibility of COVID-19 transmission in schools. Since then, our understanding of COVID-19 has evolved rapidly. Unlike influenza and other respiratory viruses where children are known to spread infection, children and adolescents do not appear to play a major role in COVID-19 transmission. COVID-19 has mainly spread between adults, or from adults-to-children. Spread of COVID-19 from children to adults, or between children has occurred but has been much less common.
Children, especially younger children, appear to be less likely to become infected or spread. Both
children and adolescents are much less likely to have symptoms or develop severe COVID-19 illness.
Our understanding of how COVID-19 spreads and how to prevent COVID-19 transmission has also increased tremendously. We now have evidence that certain precautions effectively decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission. By coordinating and layering effective interventions, we can greatly reduce the risk of COVID-19 for students and for adult staff, whose overall risk of COVID-19 is greater than for students, and their families.
The recommendations below are based on the best science available at this time and the current degree of COVID-19 transmission in San Francisco. They are subject to change as new knowledge emerges and as local community transmission changes.

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