While COVID-19 has left many things uncertain, the Louisiana Department of Education and the Louisiana Health Department have worked together to give guidelines that must be followed if public and non-public schools in the state want to reopen.
The guideline requirements for reopening depends on what phase the state is in when school starts. When it comes to group sizes:
PHASE1: 10 people, including adults
PHASE 2: 25 people, including adults
PHASE 3: 50 people, including adults
Adults and students, 3rd grade and up, are required to wear face coverings during arrival, dismissal, in the classroom, and any other transition within the school building. Any child over the age of 2 may wear a face covering. Individuals with severe breathing difficulties should not wear a face covering.
High touch surfaces must be cleaned multiple times a day, including bathrooms. LDH suggests Hand washing at arrival, at least every two hours, before and after eating, before and after using outdoor play equipment, and at the exit.
According to the LDH guidelines, school bus transportation will also have requirements.
PHASE1: Bus capacity is 25 percent. One rider per seat, unless members of the same family. Every other seat will be empty.
PHASE 2: Bus capacity is 50 percent. Passengers will be distanced to the max extent possible.
PHASE 3: Bus capacity is 75 percent. Passengers will be distanced to the max extent possible.
In addition to the guideline requirements, the band and choir will not be able to practice until phase 3, as saliva can be transmitted easily. Athletic activities are allowed to resume with the recommendations put forth in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s guidance for opening up high school athletics and activities.
To see the full guidelines from the Department of Education, click HERE.