School Reentry Considerations

In-School Instruction With Physical Distancing

Physical Education - Equipment Safety and Sanitation

Consult with the school-wide COVID-19 response team and CDC guidance on proper physical education equipment sanitation procedures.

Inventory physical education equipment at the school to identify which pieces of equipment can be easily and effectively sanitized. Cloth or porous materials are more difficult to properly sanitize than vinyl or plastic materials.

Limit the use of physical education equipment and eliminate the use of equipment that would be passed between or shared by multiple students throughout a class period.

For equipment that will be touched or handled by students, assign each student their own piece of equipment for that class period. Properly clean and disinfect equipment between classes. If there is not equitable access to equipment for all students or if equipment cannot be properly cleaned and disinfected between classes, avoid the use of equipment altogether.

If using equipment, keep extra materials available in case a piece of equipment being used by a student becomes dirty or unsanitary during a lesson or activity.

Equipment that will be touched or handled by students should be cleaned with soap and water and then disinfected with an EPA-approved disinfectant that is effective for COVID-19 and is safe for that piece of equipment (check manufacturer recommendations). Disinfectants should only be used on materials that students are not likely to put in their mouths.

Staff should be properly trained on how to safely apply disinfectant and have access to the appropriate personal protective equipment needed. Ensure sufficient ventilation when applying disinfectants. Follow the directions listed on the disinfectant label. Make sure disinfectants are stored appropriately and out of reach of students. Always consult with the school-wide COVID-19 response team before creating a plan for sanitizing equipment.

Some materials (porous or cloth material) cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed from instructional areas (e.g., area rugs, pillows, cushions).

Keep each student’s belongings in a separate, safe and clean space such as individually labeled cubbies, lockers, or areas. Consider purchasing baskets to hold individual student belongings if previously mentioned spaces are not available.

Suggested citation: SHAPE America. (2020). School reentry considerations: K-12 physical education, health education, and physical activity. Reston, VA: Author.

The recommendations and strategies provided herein are obtained based on guidance for schools provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and national recommendations for physical education, health education, recess, and classroom-based physical activity. The COVID-19 outbreak is an ongoing, rapidly developing situation. Educators are encouraged to monitor publicly available information and to always follow federal, state and local health organization guidance and government mandates. This information may vary and will be updated as necessary.