Health department announces K-12 COVID guidance for school year


The Mississippi Department of Health is releasing updated Public Health Guidance for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in Mississippi K-12 settings for the 2021-2022 school year – consistent with CDC guidelines.

The health department’s public health guidance are as follows:

• All eligible students, teachers and staff 12 years of age and older should receive COVID-19 vaccination;  

• Masks should be worn indoors in school settings by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated;

• Schools should maintain at least three feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, combined with indoor mask wearing by people who are not fully vaccinated, to reduce transmission risk;

• Routine screening testing of asymptomatic unvaccinated students, teachers and staff is recommended as an additional measure to prevent further transmission;

• Schools should continue to isolate COVID-19 infected students, teachers, and staff and continue contact tracing to identify exposed individuals for quarantine and exclusion from the school setting; and,

• All students, teachers and staff who have symptoms of any infectious illness, regardless of vaccination status, should stay home from school and be evaluated by their healthcare provider.

As a reminder, fully vaccinated students, teachers and staff:

• Do not have to wear a mask when indoors;

• Do not have to quarantine or be excluded from the school setting if they have COVID-19 exposure; and

• Do not have to be tested unless symptomatic.


MSDH has developed a School Based Testing Initiative to facilitate onsite screening testing for all unvaccinated asymptomatic students, teachers and staff (information available at School-Based COVID-19 Testing Initiative - Mississippi State Department of Health (

MSDH has also developed an Adopt-a-school Vaccination Program, working in partnership with schools and providers, to facilitate onsite COVID-19 vaccinations for all eligible students, teachers and staff. Visit for additional details.

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