On May 7, the MOE, in conjunction with the National Health Commission, issued the Revised Technical Plan for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Primary and Secondary Schools and the Revised Technical Plan for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Kindergartens and Child Care Institutions (the “Plans”).
The Plans set out organizational safeguards, institutional, and sanitation requirements for COVID-19 prevention and control in preschool, primary and secondary education institutions, as well as guidelines for monitoring personnel movements, precautions to be taken in high risk areas on campus, and emergency responses in case of suspected infections. Specifically, schools have been asked to formulate detailed prevention plans and measures, establish an epidemiological inspection and reporting mechanism, a sanitation management system, and conduct emergency drills. High risk areas, according to the Plans, include school gates, classrooms, canteens, dormitories, toilets, drinking water facilities and hand washing facilities.
The Plans also require every school to set up a COVID-19 prevention and control leading group, and demand that educational departments and schools should strengthen communication and coordination with health departments, disease control agencies, local designated medical institutions and community health service centres.
According to the Plans, all teachers and students are required to report their health status and movements for the previous two weeks, and practise social distancing at school. Anyone with a fever, cough or other symptoms should seek medical treatment in a timely manner and self-quarantine at home.
The Plans also emphasize the need to provide teachers and students with psychological assistance and counselling, and contain detailed instructions on the use of face masks.