RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – While the majority of school districts in Central Virginia opt for a virtual return to school in the fall, the CDC has released guidelines in favor of in-person classes.

The agency cites evidence suggesting children are less likely to get COVID-19, and if they do, they generally have less serious symptoms. Health experts also say schools provide safe environments for kids and have an effect on social, mental and emotional health.

“The unique and critical role that schools play makes them a priority for opening and remaining open,” the agency said as a part of its’ new guidelines. “Enabling students to receive both academic instruction and support as well as critical services.”

The agency does, however, recommend keeping schools closed in case of a ‘substantial, uncontrolled’ transmission.

Here are CDC guidelines for school administrators looking to keep reopen for in-person instruction:

  • Coordinate with public health officials about transmission levels in the community
  • Prepare for any COVID-19 cases
  • Communicate regularly with parents
  • Consider a closure for a substantial, uncontrolled transmission
  • For more tips, click here.

CDC guidelines for parents sending kids back to school:

  • Check your child’s temperature every morning. If the temperature is higher than 100.4, they should stay at home
  • Check for any signs of illness like headache, sore throat or cough
  • Develop daily routines before and after school like packing hand sanitizer and an extra face mask
  • Have more than one cloth face coverings ready to go
  • For more tips, click here.

The agency has also listed a decision-making checklist for parents currently weighing in-person or virtual classes. You can find that at the bottom of this page.