What Recess Is Like For Kids In States Still Under COVID Mandates

By John Keating | 5 months ago

While most states in the United States have lifted the majority of their COVID restrictions, several are still making moves to try and protect kids from the deadly pandemic while at school. Among those states are places like California, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, and Illinois. For those kids, their school experience is unlike any child has ever encountered before. And that’s especially true when it comes to recess in a COVID mandate world.

covid recess map

How do kids do recess in places where they’re still under COVID mandates as opposed to say, somewhere like Texas where mandates are gone? We recently uncovered the programs being used by many lockdown state school districts to keep kids safe.

Here’s the basic list of guidelines most COVID sensitive school districts are now following for kids at COVID recess…

● Students should sanitize their hands before and after recess.
● Students should maintain a 6 foot distance as much as possible during recess.
● Stationary playground equipment and structures will not be used at this time.
○ Rationale: these are open for public use and it would not be feasible to keep
sanitized between use by individuals.
● At this time, students will be wearing masks during recess.
● If a mask break is needed during recess
○ Students should be engaged in a quiet activity (not running around)
○ the mask removal and storage procedures outlined in the mask guidelines must
be followed.
● Classroom cohorts should not intermingle during recess.
○ This can be achieved by staggering recess times or assigning designated areas of
the play area to specific classrooms.
● Each cohort should have their own set of playground equipment to use during recess
(balls, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, noodles, hula hoops etc…)
○ This equipment will be labeled and not shared with other classrooms.
○ This equipment shall have a designated storage place in the classroom so that it
can be sanitized each day when the classroom is sanitized.

In addition to all the above rules, schools have started enlisting outside programs to come up with what they view as “COVID safe” games. One of those programs is something from Asphalt Green where they have a series of games kids are allowed to play with each other when they want to have fun.

Here’s one of the videos Asphalt Green uses to train schools on how to handle recess in a COVID sensitive environment…

In some schools, ideas like this seem to be working. Here’s an example of one of those COVID recess games in action…

Though the number of parents vaccinating their children against COVID-19 is very low (in some states as low as 2%), in more COVID-minded states like Oregon, parents are far more likely to get their kid the jab. That sometimes means recess is, for some, turning into a segregated affair. For unvaccinated kids in those environments, surviving COVID recess can be difficult.

covid recess

Here’s one parent’s account of what happened to her unvaccinated child during a COVID recess…

Recess is a very different affair than it has ever been. Whether that’s for good or ill is up to each individual parent to decide. If you’re worried about your child catching COVID then you might be fine with them eating lunch like this…

And if you’re one of those stats obsessed people who looks at the CDC data and concludes that kids aren’t at risk from the disease, that photo probably makes you upset. For now though, that’s the reality for the majority of kids still living in a COVID recess world.

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