Loading...

CDC Endorses the Reopening of Schools, Downplays Health Risks

July 24, 2020 by Dan McCue
CDC Endorses the Reopening of Schools, Downplays Health Risks

WASHINGTON – The Centers for Disease Control is reversing course and now says schools should reopen in the fall, downplaying the potential health risks associated with such a move while conceding the recommendation is based on “limited data.”

The new guidance, posted on the CDC’s website Thursday night, comes two weeks after President Donald Trump criticized the Centers’ earlier assessment that reopening schools on time in September would be “very tough and expensive.”

It also comes after internal documents came to light earlier this month in which the Centers’ warned that fully reopening K-12 schools and universities would be the “highest risk” for the spread of coronavirus.

The 69-page document was obtained by The New York Times, which reported it was marked “For Internal Use Only,” and was among materials for federal public health response teams deployed to coronavirus hotspots to help local public health officials handle the outbreak.

By comparison, the new assessment, entitled “The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools This Fall,” suggests the harm associated with not reopening far outweighs the risk posed by the coronavirus.

“Reopening schools creates opportunity to invest in the education, well-being, and future of one of America’s greatest assets — our children — while taking every precaution to protect students, teachers, staff and all their families,” the “decision-making tool for parents, caregivers, and guardians” begins.

The advisory, which includes several checklists and supporting information, describes children as being at low risk for being infected by or transmitting the coronavirus, even while acknowledging the science surrounding the pandemic is a long way from certain.

“Scientists are still learning about how it spreads, how it affects children, and what role children may play in its spread,” the assessment says. “Limited data about COVID-19 in children suggest that children are less likely to get COVID-19 than adults, and when they do get COVID-19, they generally have less serious illness than adults.”

Elsewhere in the new resources and tools posted on the CDC website, it states: “The best available evidence indicates if children become infected, they are far less likely to suffer severe symptoms … At the same time, the harms attributed to closed schools on the social, emotional, and behavioral health, economic well-being, and academic achievement of children, in both the short- and long-term, are well-known and significant.”

“It is critically important for our public health to open schools this fall,” CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said in an accompanying statement. “The CDC resources released today will help parents, teachers and administrators make practical, safety-focused decisions as this school year begins. 

“I know this has been a difficult time for our nation’s families. School closures have disrupted normal ways of life for children and parents, and they have had negative health consequences on our youth. CDC is prepared to work with K-12 schools to safely reopen while protecting the most vulnerable,” Redfield said.

The newly posted material supplements the CDC’s previous guidance on the reopening of schools which suggested, among other things, keeping children in one classroom all day rather than have them move from classroom to classroom for various activities.

That guidance also recommended that desks in classrooms be kept at least six feet apart, and canceling activities or programs in which social distancing would not be possible.

In The News

Health

Voting

Education

January 21, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Virginia Attorney General Sues Over School Mask Mandates

WASHINGTON — Virginia’s new attorney general continued a hard turn to the right Thursday when he filed documents in the... Read More

WASHINGTON — Virginia’s new attorney general continued a hard turn to the right Thursday when he filed documents in the state Supreme Court asking for a dismissal of a lawsuit against Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s order overturning mask mandates. Youngkin’s executive order last week makes masking in... Read More

A Digital Divide Haunts Schools Adapting to Virus Hurdles

When April Schneider's children returned to in-person classrooms this year, she thought they were leaving behind the struggles from more... Read More

When April Schneider's children returned to in-person classrooms this year, she thought they were leaving behind the struggles from more than a year of remote learning. No more problems with borrowed tablets. No more days of missed lessons because her kids couldn't connect to their virtual... Read More

January 6, 2022
by Reece Nations
School Year Delays, Virtual Learning Instituted Amid COVID-19 Spike

SAN ANTONIO — COVID-19 infection rates continue to complicate the school year as some districts have either delayed their start... Read More

SAN ANTONIO — COVID-19 infection rates continue to complicate the school year as some districts have either delayed their start dates or shifted to virtual learning in response to the growing spike in cases. As many schools nationwide have either moved to online teaching or pushed... Read More

January 5, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
School District Works to Implement Test-to-Stay Practice

SHAWNEE, Kan. — Members of the Shawnee Mission School District in Kansas implemented changes to their test-to-stay practice this week,... Read More

SHAWNEE, Kan. — Members of the Shawnee Mission School District in Kansas implemented changes to their test-to-stay practice this week, based on new guidance supported by the Biden administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on using the method to reduce the spread of COVID-19... Read More

December 29, 2021
by Dan McCue
Proof of Negative COVID Test a Back-to-School Essential in DC

WASHINGTON — All students and staff planning to return to the District of Columbia’s public schools after their holiday break... Read More

WASHINGTON — All students and staff planning to return to the District of Columbia’s public schools after their holiday break must first provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, Mayor Muriel Bowser and schools chancellor Lewis Ferebee announced Wednesday. School is set to resume in the... Read More

December 22, 2021
by Dan McCue
White House Extends Student Loan Repayment Freeze

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Wednesday extended a freeze on student loan repayments to May 1. Borrowers’ payments were... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Wednesday extended a freeze on student loan repayments to May 1. Borrowers’ payments were to resume in February. The so-called administrative forbearance was initially put in place as part of the CARES Act in March 2020 and was later extended... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version