Massachusetts will aim to reopen K-12 schools for as many students as possible in the fall, Gov. Charlie Baker said in a news conference.
"Continued isolation poses very real risks to our kids' mental and physical health," Baker said.
The announcement came as the state released guidelines meant to limit transmission of Covid-19 in school settings for the fall.
"Getting our children back to school in the fall is critical," Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said. "These rules take every precaution possible and are grounded in the best possible medical advice."
What the school guidelines say: The guidelines focus on hand washing, hygiene, and widespread use of masks or face coverings. They also call for a room, separate from a school nurses office, in which possibly symptomatic students can be isolated before being brought home.
Dr. Sandra Nelson, an infectious disease expert on the faculty at Harvard University and one of doctors consulted on the opening plan, said the guidance was the result of new information about the disease.
"We have learned an unprecedented amount in a short time," she said.
"First, children are less likely to acquire Covid than adults," Nelson said. "When children are infected with Covid, they are less likely to acquire Covid than adults with Covid. Third, when children acquire Covid, they appear less likely to transmit infections to others relative to adults."
Baker also announced a fund of $200 million dollars to help school districts with the costs related to reopening and implementing the new recommendations.