Schools have a special role in our communities and their stewardship is important in this challenging time. In response, UH Rainbow created a comprehensive toolkit that combines the clinical perspective of current guidelines based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and how it is transmitted, together with the important psychosocial aspects of communicating health information to children and their families, as well as information about wellness and resilience.
“The response to the launch of our UH Healthy Restart Playbook has been tremendous, with more than 2,000 Playbook downloads from our UH Healthy Restart website thus far,” explained Joan Zoltanski, MD, who leads the UH Healthy Restart efforts. “Numerous organizations from multiple industries have requested deeper dives into material tailored to them. Now, with Ohio schools making plans for the upcoming year, the K-12 schools in our community faced an urgent need to prepare. Many of the schools turned to our experts in pediatrics, infectious disease, environmental safety, behavioral health and wellness to help them prepare for school starting in the fall. With the health and safety of the children in our community a top priority for UH Rainbow, we saw the need to amalgamate the vast amount of information and took the opportunity to design a ‘back-to-school’ playbook that would be a free resource for our entire community.”
Designed with input from the education community, the UH Rainbow Healthy Restart Playbook for Reopening Schools includes information for educators, parents and children. Included is advice on Planning Points; How to Talk to Kids About COVID-19; the New School Day; the ABCD’s of COVID-19; How to Properly Wear a Mask; and Wellness Tips. The Playbook also provides clarity and real life examples of recommendations to help schools as they navigate their reopening plans, equipping administrators and teachers with strategies as they work toward a healthy restart.
“COVID-19 spreads when people are together, as they are in schools,” Zoltanski continued. “By applying the basic precautions listed in the Playbook, schools can help reduce the risk to teachers, students, staff and their families if they choose to re-open in-person education. Importantly, the Playbook encourages continual assessment of the school day, monitoring for infections, evaluating schedules and frequent communication. We have also broken down content based on age of the child and provided recommendations on mental health and resilience. In developing this content, we gathered input from important stakeholders, including members of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Cleveland Council of Independent Schools. For over 150 years, UH has been caring for the community and we are truly humbled that once again our neighbors have turned to us for trusted advice in helping them navigate this new paradigm in living with COVID-19.”
The materials and resources provided by UH in the UH Rainbow Healthy Restart Playbook for Reopening Schools is not intended as a substitute for following applicable federal, state, or local laws, regulations, or guidelines and should not be used as a replacement for medical or legal advice. Schools and employers are solely responsible for complying with all applicable legal requirements and making decisions regarding their operations, students, and employees based upon their individual circumstances. This information is continuing to develop as scientists, physicians, and epidemiologists study it. As understanding of COVID-19 and applicable guidelines are changing quickly, the information in this Playbook is current as of the last update.
About University Hospitals
Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 18 hospitals, more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, located in Cleveland’s University Circle, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The main campus also includes University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital, Ohio’s only hospital for women; University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, a high-volume national referral center for complex cardiovascular procedures; and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, including cancer, pediatrics, women’s health, orthopedics, radiology, neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, digestive health, transplantation and urology. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with 28,000 physicians and employees. Advancing the Science of Health and the Art of Compassion is UH’s vision for benefitting its patients into the future, and the organization’s unwavering mission is To Heal. To Teach. To Discover. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook @UniversityHospitals and Twitter @UHhospitals. For more information, visit UHhospitals.org.