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Updated COVID-19 Guidance a Week Before Hawaiʻi Students Return to School

Health Department Dr Sarah Kemble July 26 2021.jpg
Hawaii Department of Health
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Acting State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble spoke to the media Monday on updated school guidance.

The state Department of Health has updated its guidance to schools a week before the start of another school year during the pandemic.

The guidance announced Monday includes recommendations for wearing masks in all indoor settings and maintaining at least 3 feet of physical distance between students in classrooms, when possible.

Masks are also recommended outdoors when there is crowding or prolonged close contact, said acting State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble.

The health department said schools should consider screening testing all teachers and staff who have not been fully vaccinated regardless of the level of community transmission.

The guidance also includes screening testing for those who are not fully vaccinated to facilitate participation in sports and other activities with a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Promoting vaccines against COVID-19 for all eligible children and adults is the top strategy for safe in-person learning, Kemble said.

Last week, the state Department of Education posted a list of about 100 schools that will offer limited options for remote learning amid concerns about a rise in Hawaiʻi's new cases of the virus.

Public school students return to classes Aug. 3. For this upcoming school year, all public school students will receive free breakfast and lunch meals.

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