What could reopening schools in San Francisco look like come fall?

San Francisco health officials on Wednesday released guidance on how to safely reopen schools during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

In mid-March, health and education officials closed campuses across the city over concerns on COVID-19 transmission in schools. Officials later extended the closure and schools switched to remote learning for the rest of the academic year. 

The San Francisco Department of Public Health said the spread of COVID-19 between children has been much less common, especially among younger kids. 

San Francisco health officials have not said whether schools will reopen for in-person instruction on Aug. 17, but they outlined what that could look like.

 All students and staff will be required to wear face coverings while at school and on campus unless they fall under a medical exemption. 

Students should ideally be 6 feet apart, but when space is limited anywhere between 3 to 6 feet apart is fine. 

Health officials recommend maximizing outdoor space as much as possible, while also limiting the use of shared playground equipment in favor of activities that have less contact. 

Public health officials suggest suspending group singing like choir and ending the use of wind instruments in band classes. Those activities are higher risk for COVID-19 transmission due to the larger numbers of respiratory droplets produced. Field trips are prohibited.