CDC releases reopening guidelines for schools, businesses and churches

Posted at 5:53 PM, May 14, 2020

The CDC released its highly-anticipated guidance on Thursday, spelling out procedures for institutions such as schools, businesses and churches on reopening amid the spread of COVID-19.

The guidance became a political issue in recent days as the White House did not allow the report as it was originally drafted from being released, the Associated Press reported. On Tuesday, CDC Director Robert Redfield said the edited document would be released “soon.”


The guidance calls for schools to monitor community spread of the coronavirus. In areas without community spread, schools are to monitor for absenteeism, continue with intense cleaning protocol, and require sick students and staff to stay home.

In case of confirmed cases at schools in areas without community spread, the CDC recommends that schools assess the risk and prepare to close for 2-5 day periods if need be.

But in areas with significant community spread, schools are encouraged to undergo extensive social distancing measures, including extended closures.


After ensuring reopening meets local and state standards, the CDC recommends businesses put in health and safety measures, such as allowing nonessential employees to work from home, promote good hygiene and face coverings, and encouraging social distancing, including adding physical barriers. After meeting these standards, businesses will need to monitor employees for symptoms, plan for if an employee gets sick, monitor for absenteeism and encourage employees who are sick to stay home.

If businesses cannot meet these standards, they are guided not to reopen.


Like businesses and schools, churches are encouraged to monitor staff for symptoms. Places of worship are also are encouraged to identify actions to take to temporarily postpone or cancel events, programs, and services, especially for groups at greater risk such as older adults or people with chronic health conditions.

To see the full guidance, click here.