Following a request from school nurses and "education advocates," who were asking for guidance in handling potential COVID-19 cases, new protocols have been announced, according to a press release from Governor Steve Bullock.

According to the guidance that was delivered to public health officials and schools, Governor Bullock used the input of public health experts, and the CDC to develop the Outbreak Response Protocols.

Some of the protocols in the outbreak response include:

  • when to call for emergency care,
  • determining close contacts,
  • when to quarantine, isolate, and recommend testing,
  • and when to allow students and staff to return to school.

The Outbreak Response Protocols provides guidance requested by school nurses and other education advocates to ensure K-12 schools are responding to COVID-19 consistently and taking measures backed by science. By following these protocols in consultation with local public health, our schools can properly quarantine, recommend testing, and take other measures to minimize the spread and keeps kids healthy while preserving in person learning for the students and families who depend on it. -Governor Steve Bullock

Guidance for students involved in athletics and extra-curricular activities were also provided, and includes:

  • hand sanitizing,
  • wearing face coverings when appropriate,
  • prioritizing activities where physical distancing can be maintained,
  • minimizing travel, keeping practices or events small,
  • and sanitizing equipment and frequently touched surface.

Based on national guidelines, an athlete who tests positive should be cleared by a healthcare provider before resuming participation. Schools should have plans in place for isolation, treatment, and appropriate transportation for a visiting traveling athlete, extracurricular activity participant, or staff who develops COVID-19 symptoms.

CLICK HERE for the complete guidance of COVID-19 Outbreak Protocols for schools.