July 21, 2021
Contact: Carol Walsh
National Association of School Nurses
National Association of School Nurses Statement on Schools Providing In-person Learning
(Silver Spring, MD, July 21, 2021)—The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) supports the AAP COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools recommendation for universal masking in schools (unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use) given the current reality that a number of students are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
As states, school districts, schools, school staff, students, and families prepare for the 2021-2022 school year, NASN emphasizes key takeaways from the Centers for Disease Control updated Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools including:
- Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Many schools serve children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for vaccination at this time. Therefore, this guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies (e.g., using multiple prevention strategies together consistently) to protect people who are not fully vaccinated, including students, teachers, staff, and other members of their households.
- COVID-19 prevention strategies remain critical to protect people, including students, teachers, and staff, who are not fully vaccinated, especially in areas of moderate-to-high community transmission levels.
NASN places a priority on equitable, in person learning, located in healthy and safe school environments. NASN recommends collaboration with state and local education, health, and public health entities to plan layered COVID-19 prevention strategies that consider local community transmission levels, percentage of fully vaccinated individuals, ventilation in schools, and ability to physically distance indoors.