DOI: 10.1177/10598405231191282 ISSN: 1059-8405

Facilitators and Barriers to Implementing COVID-19 Prevention Strategies in K-12 Public Schools

India Rose, Leah Powell, Adrian King, Colleen Crittenden Murray, Catherine N. Rasberry, Sanjana Pampati, Lisa C. Barrios, Sarah Lee
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)

To meet the educational needs of students, most schools in the United States (U.S.) reopened for in-person instruction during the 2021–2022 school year implementing a wide range of COVID-19 prevention strategies (e.g., mask requirements). To date, there have been limited studies examining facilitators and barriers to implementing each of the recommended COVID-19 prevention strategies in schools. Twenty-one semistructured interviews were conducted with public school staff from across the U.S. responsible for overseeing prevention strategy implementation. MAXQDA was used for thematic analysis. Findings identified key facilitators including utilizing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and district policies to guide decision-making at the school level, possessing financial resources to purchase supplies, identifying key staff for implementation, and having school health services infrastructure in place. Key barriers included staff shortages, limited resources, and community opposition. Findings from this study provide important insight into how schools can prepare for future public health emergencies.

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