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August 13, 2020

This message was shared for the 2020-21 school year.

Dear Colleague,

This afternoon, the Pennsylvania Departments of Health (DOH) and Education (PDE) released recommendations on procedures to follow when responding to COVID-19 cases in Pre-K to 12 school settings. This health-focused guidance will serve as an additional resource to help you plan as we ensure the health and safety of our school communities throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

When a case of COVID-19 is identified in a school setting, public health staff from DOH or the county or municipal health department will work with school administrators to provide additional guidance and advice related to cleaning and disinfecting, contact tracing and quarantine recommendations, and closing certain areas of the school or an entire school building if necessary.

Also being released today is a chart which complements the recommendations from DOH and PDE for responding to symptomatic students in schools and the conditions by which they can return.

These new resources are updates to the Public Health Guidance for School Communities originally released July 16.

Any questions regarding school reopening can be emailed to

Thank you for your commitment and perseverance in providing a safe learning environment for students, staff, and our school communities during this challenging time.


Matthew Stem, Deputy Secretary
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education