OBJECTIVES: To describe school district preparedness for school closures and other relevant strategies before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic .
METHODS: A stratified random sample of 957 public school districts from the 50 US states and the District of Columbia were surveyed between October 2015 and August 2016 . The response rates for the questionnaires were as follows: Healthy and Safe School Environment, Crisis Preparedness Module (60% ; N = 572), Nutrition Services (63% ; N = 599), and Health Services (64% ; N = 613). Data were analyzed using descriptive and regression techniques .
RESULTS: Most school districts had procedures that would facilitate the implementation of school closures (88.7 %). Fewer districts had plans for ensuring continuity of education (43.0 %) or feeding students during closure (33.8 %). The prevalence of continuity of education plans was lower in the Midwest than the Northeast (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] = 0.68; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.51-0.90). Presence of plans for feeding students was higher in high-poverty than low-poverty districts (aPR = 1.41; 95% CI : 1.01-1.99) and in large districts than small districts (aPR = 2.06; 95% CI : 1.37-3.09).
CONCLUSIONS: Understanding factors associated with having comprehensive emergency plans could help decision makers to target assistance during the current COVID-19 pandemic and for future planning purposes.
Index: COVID-19, influenza, influenza pandemic, pandemic preparedness, school closure