K-12 Education

On July 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their K-12 school mask recommendations in response to emerging data about the Delta variant. CDC recommends universal masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools regardless of vaccination status. 

On August 12, 2021, State Health Commissioner Dr. M. Norman Oliver issued a Public Health Order requiring all students, teachers, staff, and visitors in K-12 schools aged two years and older to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. All Virginia public and private K-12 schools (including PreK classrooms) must implement a requirement that students, teachers, and staff wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Please refer the Frequently Asked Questions for more information regarding this Public Health Order. 

Schools should follow Interim Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in Virginia PreK-12 Schools (UPDATED 09/16/21). This guidance emphasizes several key prevention strategies, including vaccination, masking, physical distancing, screening testing, ventilation, hand hygiene, cleaning, staying home when sick, and prompt contact tracing once any cases are identified. Of all available prevention strategies, vaccination, masking, and physical distancing should be prioritized.

CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools (08/05/21)
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Guidance for Safe Schools (7/18/21)

More information about schools and COVID-19 can be found on the VDH FAQs webpage and the DOE FAQs webpage.

VDH in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education has prepared some helpful resources to keep children healthy this summer and to prepare them to go back to school in the fall, whether in-person or online. For additional information regarding recommendations and policies about COVID-19, immunizations, and other information including child well visits, routine oral health, and mental health resources for your child, visit VDH's Back to School Safety Guide webpage. Other resources for parents include: 

As communities and schools begin or continue to offer in-person K12 instruction,  mitigation strategies are important both in school and in the surrounding community.  VDH offers the following information to help assess the risk of certain activities and prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

VDH Guidance for Performing Arts (09/22/2021)

VDH Considerations for Recreational Sports 

AAP Sports and Physical Activities Guidance (09/20/2021)