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Returning to School and the Community Safely

Updated July 20, 2021

Experts at Children’s Mercy are working with the community to help keep children safe during the 2021-22 school year as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guidance for Keeping Schools Safe for Students and Staff


Information for educators and school health professionals


Children's Mercy is committed to helping children return safely to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have compiled resources for school health care professionals to keep students, families and school staff safe during the 2021-22 school year.

Girl with face mask wearing a backpack

Guidance for schools during the 2021-22 school year

As a community, we're facing decisions about how best to keep schools safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts at Children's Mercy developed resources to help the community - both families and administrators - navigate in-person school during COVID-19.

If you have any COVID-19 school re-entry questions or would like to request a consultation, please fill out and submit a COVID-19 School Assistance form. We will get in contact with you as soon as possible.

Information for families

The CDC recommends consult with state and local health departments to determine if and how to put into place these considerations. Each community may need to make adjustments to meet its unique needs and circumstances.

The CDC does recommend actions youth sports organizations can take to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and reduce the spread during competition and practice which involve free play, individual training, and virtual team activities through video conference training.

In the meantime, if your child’s teams are starting to practice and compete here are some guidelines to follow:

  • If a team member or coach is feeling ill or has been exposed to COVID-19 in the last two weeks, do not attend or participate in any team activities.
  • Clean and wipe down any equipment, before and after practice or competition.
  • Do not share water bottles, equipment, towels, etc.
  • Avoid touching your face or any object unless necessary and wash your hands after.
  • No high fives, fist bumps or chest bumps.
  • Maintain social distancing from teammates, coaches and other players when taking breaks and between games.
  • It is recommended that unvaccinated coaches wear masks or face protection, and masks for unvaccinated athletes are optional unless not actively participating.
  • Athletes, coaches, spectators and officials should undergo screening using symptom checklists and temperature checks for all athletes and fans/parents before each practice or competition.
  • Consider utilizing a sign-in roster for spectators, participants, coaches and officials to allow for contact tracing.
  • Discourage big tournaments that cannot adhere to physical distancing, on and off the field of play.
  • Consider limiting competition to single-elimination games, without any double headers and/or limit the number of teams allowed in the building or area of competition at a single time to avoid athletes congregating and to allow for appropriate physical distancing.
  • Minimize parents spectating at practices for physical distancing and encourage unvaccinated parents to wear masks at competitions, while adhering to social distancing.
Read recommendations for a safe return to sport from Children's Mercy specialists