The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique worries for parents of children living with diabetes.
As schools begin to re-open, we anticipate concerns, questions and challenges may arise that parents, schools, the medical community and the legal community will have to navigate together. The return to school in the midst or just following a global pandemic is largely uncharted territory, in particular for students with diabetes. Nevertheless, students with diabetes have legal rights and these rights do not go away during a global pandemic.
As the science and guidance evolves, we will be working to produce helpful resources and tools for parents and schools to help them navigate this unique time. Our resources will try to address the most common issues that we see. On this webpage, you will find recommendations for returning to school during the pandemic and links to helpful sources of authority. Please check this webpage periodically as we are regularly adding resources and information.
Safe at School Resources during COVID-19
American Diabetes Association Official Statement Regarding Florida Mask Rule dated September 3, 2021.
- Recommendations for the Development and Transmission of the DMMP
- Recommendations for Section 504/Written Accommodations Plans
- En español: Regresando a la escuela en la era del COVID-19: Sección Plan 504
- Recommendations on Returning to School for Children with Diabetes
- En español: Durante COVID-19: Recomendaciones para regressar a la escuela para niños con diabetes
- Recommendations for Accommodations in Colleges or Other Post-Secondary Institutions
- Recommendations for Virtual Learning Accommodations
- En español: Durante COVID-19: Recomendaciones para el aprendizaje virtual
- Fact Sheet: Rights of School Employees During COVID-19
- Safe at School Recommendations: Going to School During a Pandemic & Mental Health Considerations
- Safe at School: Ir A La Escuela Durante Una Pandemia y Consideraciones De Salud”
Provider Letter Templates
- Provider letter addressing the need for COVID-19 accommodations for students with type 1 diabetes
- Provider letter addressing the need for COVID-19 accommodations for students with type 2 diabetes
Other helpful information and resources
Webinars & Virtual Meetings
The American Diabetes Association’s Safe at School® Campaign’s 2021 “Fall Back-to-School” three-part series covers legal protections for students with diabetes, COVID-19 precaution guidance for the school setting, and shared experiences from parents on schooling their children during the global pandemic. Thanks to Lilly Diabetes for its support of this event.
- Find resources and a Q&A from "Back to School with Diabetes in the Time of COVID-19,” a chat hosted by Children with Diabetes on August 23, 2020. Part of the Screenside Chats with CWD series, this chat featured ADA's Safe at School Director and parent of a child with diabetes Crystal Woodward and Dr. Anastasia Albanese-O’Neill, nurse diabetes educator at the University of Florida, co-chair of ADA’s Safe at School Working Group and parent of a child with diabetes.
- View the recording and resources from “Returning to School with Diabetes: Virtual Town Hall Meeting,” presented by the ADA, JDRF and Sansum Diabetes Research Institute on August 5, 2021.
- Watch the Back to School with T1D Virtual Town Hall, hosted by the Diabetes Research Institute on August 13, 2020. This Town Hall featured expert panelists including ADA’s Safe at School Director Crystal Woodward, MPS, and Safe at School Working Group members Cynthia Muñoz, PhD, MPH, and Leah Wyckoff, MS, BSN, RN, NCSN.
- View the recording and resources from “Returning to School with Diabetes: Virtual Town Hall Meeting,” presented by the ADA, JDRF and Sansum Diabetes Research Institute on July 21, 2020.
Resources from the American Diabetes Association® (ADA):
- The ADA’s Safe at School campaign offers a wealth of resources, tools and information to help parents and caregivers advocate for the rights of children with diabetes in school, child care, camp and recreational program settings.
- The ADA’s Know Your Rights: COVID-19 page provides information on the rights of people with diabetes during a global pandemic, as well as resources to assist people with diabetes during COVID-19.
- The ADA’s COVID-19 Hub helps people with diabetes and their families find the latest information, tips and resources about COVID-19, including answers to the most common questions about COVID-19 and diabetes, tips to stay safe and resources for health care professionals.
Resources from the Federal Government:
- Centers for Disease Control: Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care and Education Programs to Support Safe In-Person Learning updated August 11, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control: Schools, Child Care, and Colleges updated August 11, 2022
- Centers for Disease Control: Quarantine and Isolation updated August 11, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control: What You Should Know About COVID-19 Testing in Schools dated January 24, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control: People with Certain Medical Conditions dated May 2, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control: Families and Children dated August 2, 2021.
- U.S. Department of Education/Office for Civil Rights: Fact Sheet: Providing Students with Disabilities Free Appropriate Public Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Addressing the Need for Compensatory Services Under Section 504 updated April 27, 2022.
- U.S Department of Education/Office for Civil Rights: Long COVID under Section 504 and IDEA dated July 2021.
- U.S. Department of Education Releases Webinar, Fact Sheet for Protecting Students' Civil Rights During COVID-19 Response (March 17, 2020).
- Office for Civil Rights: Questions and Answers for Postsecondary Institutions Regarding the COVID-19 National Emergency (May 12, 2020)
- Office for Civil Rights: Webinar on Civil Rights and Covid-19 Dated July 10, 2020.
- Office of Civil Rights (OCR) COVID-19 Guidance Fact Sheet addresses the risk of COVID-19 in schools while protecting the civil rights of students. Published March 16, 2020.
- OCR Supplemental Fact Sheet addresses the risk of COVID-19 in preschool, elementary and secondary schools while serving children with disabilities. Published March 21, 2020.
- Centers for Disease Control: COVID-19 Parental Resources Kit updated December 13, 2021.
- Centers for Disease Control: Helping Children Cope updated July 29, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control: Support for Teens and Young Adults updated July 22, 2021.
Resources from other organizations:
- American Academy of Pediatrics: COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools based on current evidence and information available at the time of publishing dated July 6, 2022.
- LRP Publications’ “Special Ed Connection” highlights suggestions for students with diabetes returning to school during the global pandemic. Published August 28, 2020.
- ACLU of California/My School, My Rights, Know Your Rights: Distance Learning dated August 10, 2021.
- ACLU of Southern California: New School Year, New Rules for Distance Learning in CA dated August 10, 2021.
Related studies and articles:
- Centers for Disease Control: COVID-19 Linked With Increased Incidence of Youth Diabetes, JAMA, dated February 22, 2022.
- Less healthy eating, physical activity for children with diabetes during virtual school, Healio, February 14, 2022.
- Research Letter: Incidence of New-Onset Type 1 Diabetes Among US Children During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, JAMA Pediatrics, January 24, 2022.
- Coronavirus disease 2019 and type 1 diabetes mellitus, Current Opinion Endocrinology Diabetes Obesity, 28(1):35–42, February 1, 2021.
- COVID-19 Severity Is Tripled in the Diabetes Community: A Prospective Analysis of the Pandemic's Impact in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, Diabetes Care, 44(2):526–532, February 2021.
- Children and youth with diabetes are not at increased risk for hospitalization due to COVID-19, Pediatric Diabetes, November 17, 2020.
- COVID-19 and Children With Diabetes–Updates, Unknowns, and Next Steps: First, Do No Extrapolation, Diabetes Care, Volume 43, November 2020.
- Public health antibody screening indicates a six-fold higher SARS-CoV-2 exposure rate than reported cases in children, Med (NY), October 29, 2020.
- Preliminary Findings of T1D Exchange’s Population Health Surveillance Study of COVID-19 in Individuals with Type 1 Diabetes, Diabetes Care, published online June 5, 2020.
- Most children with asthma, diabetes and epilepsy do not need to shield, say doctors, Wigan Today, 6/11/2020.
- CDCMMWR. Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Children — United States, February 12–April 2, 2020, MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 2020;69.
- SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Children, New England Journal of Medicine, 2020;382(17):1663–1665.
- Epidemiology of COVID-19 Among Children in China, Pediatrics, 2020;145(6).
This page was last updated on January 20, 2023.