Guidance for Schools
The Hawai`i Department of Health recognizes the health benefits of children attending school in person, including the fundamental links between education and long-term health outcomes. The updated Guidance for Schools provides multiple mitigation strategies that are designed to be layered, flexible, and aligned with CDC guidance, to help slow the spread of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and maintain safe school environments and operations.
The updated Guidance for Schools is based on the best available evidence at this time and will continue to be updated as new information becomes available. The most recent key changes to the Guidance for Schools are highlighted in the summary box below.
Summary of Guidance for School Changes, updates as of November 19, 2021
- CDC now recommends that children between the ages of 5 and 11 years receive the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine.
- For students, teachers, and staff who have recently recovered from COVID-19 and do not have symptoms of COVID-19, screening testing is not recommended for up to 90 days from their last positive test result.
- Adult and student close contacts who are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic should get tested 5-7 days after exposure. This is a change from past guidance which stated that close contacts should be tested 3-5 days after exposure.
The Hawai`i State Department of Health has developed a data-driven method to assist administrators with their decision-making process to implement COVID-19 mitigation strategies within their schools based on community transmission levels, including 7-day average daily case counts and percent test positivity.
What is the Current 7 Day Average on Each Island?
- Identifying and Talking to Your Close Contacts
- COVID-19 Guidance for Schools
- OPERATION EXPANDED (OpET) TESTING
- COVID-19 Close Contact Notification for Schools
- What to Do If You Have Been Tested for COVID-19
- Isolation and Quarantine Guidance for Schools
- What to Do If a Person at School Has COVID-19
- Why Should We Test for COVID-19 in Schools?
- COVID-19 Contact Notification Guidance for Schools
- Summary Guidance for Hawai’i Schools
- COVID-19 Close Contact Report Form
- COVID-19 Home Care Guide
- Middle and High School Cohorts
- Elementary School ‘Ohana Bubble
- Pre-School and Daycare ‘Ohana Bubble
- A Little Book About Coronavirus
- COVID-19 Teacher Is a Hero Poster