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CDPH Releases K-12 COVID-19 Guidance for 2022-2023 School Year
On June 30, 2022, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) provided updated guidance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in K-12 schools for the 2022-2023 school year. This guidance became effective July 1, 2022. Below is a summary of the relevant portions of the updated guidance.
Students and staff should continue to follow the same masking guidance that the CDPH has issued for the general public.
The guidance provides that no person should be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into the school, unless it would pose a safety hazard. Additionally, schools are required to continue making masks available to students who forget to bring a face covering to school and want to use one.
COVID-19 Diagnosis and Notification
Students and employees who test positive for or are diagnosed with COVID-19 should continue following the CDPH isolation guidance for the general public regarding persons with COVID-19.
The CDPH guidance recommends that families notify schools if their student has COVID-19 and was on campus during the student’s infectious period. In turn, schools should notify families of students who spent more than 15 cumulative minutes within a 24-hour time period in a shared indoor airspace. All students who are exposed to COVID-19 should continue to follow the CDPH guidance for the general public regarding asymptomatic persons who are exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Ventilation and Filtration Systems
The CDPH recommends improving indoor air quality to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in K-12 schools. When outdoor air quality is poor, CDPH recommends conferring with local health officials to determine the best approach going forward.
The CDPH recommends that schools ensure access to COVID-19 testing for students and staff. The CDPH recommends antigen tests as the primary option rather than PCR tests. Additionally, after long school breaks, it is recommended that students and staff get tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to school.
The CDPH continues to strongly recommend that all eligible individuals be vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain up-to-date on vaccinations.
It is important to note that schools continue to follow all local guidance concerning COVID-19 for K-12 schools. Additionally, employers are still subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards and should continue to abide by any additional applicable requirements.
LCW attorneys are available to assist with any questions about the application of the new CDPH guidance.