Update: April 27, 2021
The COVID-19 and Asthma Toolkit for Schools is updated per new CDC guidance on physical distancing, cleaning procedures, and the American Recovery Plan. The toolkit includes new protocols for quick-relief medicines from the updated asthma guidelines. New resources are also included.
Update: March 17, 2021
The COVID-19 and Asthma Toolkit for Schools is updated per new CDC guidance on face masks and vaccines. The toolkit includes new protocols for quick-relief medicines from the updated asthma guidelines. New resources are also included.
The average American classroom of 30 students will have about three students with asthma.1 And since 19 million adults in the U.S. have asthma, schools will have teachers and staff with asthma too.2 As schools reopen in the fall, creating a more asthma-friendly environment may help students and staff better control their asthma and help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Increased cleaning to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus can actually expose students and staff to more asthma triggers. Exposure to asthma triggers can cause asthma symptoms, including cough. Creating asthma-friendly schools is an important part of keeping students and staff healthy.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has created the COVID-19 and Asthma Toolkit for Schools. This resource is a supplement to current district, state and federal reopening guidelines. It has resources to help schools better manage asthma and address the spread of the new coronavirus together. The comprehensive toolkit includes:
- Easy-to-use checklists schools can use daily to ensure protocols are in place to manage asthma and minimize the spread of the new coronavirus
- “Is it COVID-19, the Flu, a Cold, Allergies or Asthma?,” a symptoms chart for quick reference (in English and Spanish) that shows the difference between asthma, seasonal allergy, cold, flu and COVID-19 symptoms
- The basics of asthma management
- Guidance on stocking and administering quick-relief asthma medicines
- Guidance on the use of masks or cloth face coverings, physical distancing and access to handwashing stations
- A sample letter for school nurses asking parents for an inhaler and spacer to be kept at school
- Resources for administrators, school nurses, teachers and facilities staff
You can access the free COVID-19 and Asthma Toolkit for Schools two ways:
- Read the toolkit online.
- Sign up to receive your copy. You will be alerted if any changes are applied to the toolkit or future editions are released.
Originally published July 2020. Updated August 2020, March 2021, April 2021
1. Asthma. (2019, May 29). Retrieved June 22, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/asthma/index.htm
2. Most Recent National Asthma Data. (2020, March 24). Retrieved June 22, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/mos...onal_asthma_data.htm