Pencils, Markers, Masks… Back to School in a Pandemic (Again)
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 heat map continues to turn an angry red as school districts across the nation prepare for returning schoolchildren. Many school districts announced Back to School Safety Plans mere hours before the CDC updated their school guidance. What should you do if those rules don’t match?
All Americans are undoubtedly fatigued by life in pandemic mode. We’re ready to resume life with a semblance of normalcy. But the Delta variant of COVID-19 is attacking with vigor – and the unvaccinated population, including our children, are the most vulnerable targets.
We have to be ready to pivot yet again. School districts should seriously consider requiring masks for all. Between shutting down, delaying school, spreading the virus or masking, wearing masks is the easiest option at this point. Add them to your school supplies list. Have a plan to provide virtual instruction for kids who are feeling under the weather. Encourage your staff to get vaccinated.
And let’s get back to school.
Does your insurance coverage change if you don’t require masks?
As a general principle, CM Regent recommends you comply with all federal, state and local laws and ordinances related to COVID-19. General liability policies do have exclusions that may apply, including an exclusion for “expected or intended” injury or damage related to disease. Absent a direct mask mandate from federal, state or local authorities, it is unlikely this exclusion would be impacted by your position on masks. However, your Back to School Safety Plans must have clear documentation on the steps you are taking to keep your schools safe. As always, should a claim be presented, CM Regent would undertake an investigation at that time into what, if any, insurance coverage would apply. CM Regent reserves all rights under the policy and applicable law.