CDC Releases Guidelines for Reopening Schools
ATLANTA – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released its long-awaited guidance on safely reopening schools, emphasizing that it is”critical for schools to open as safely and as soon as possible.”
The top recommendations are what one would expect – the universal wearing of masks by students, staff and teachers and maintaining a distance of six feet apart.
“To enable schools to open safely and remain open, it is important to adopt and consistently implement actions to slow the spread of [COVID-19] both in schools and in the community.,” the executive summary of the CDC guidelines says. “This means that all community members, students, families, teachers, and school staff should take actions to protect themselves and others where they live, work, learn, and play.”
The authors of the guidance emphasize that their recommendations are based “on the best-available evidence at the time of release.”
“As science and data on COVID-19 continue to evolve, guidance and recommendations will be updated to reflect new evidence,” they wrote.
According to the CDC, evidence suggests that many K-12 schools that have strictly implemented mitigation strategies have been able to safely open for in-person instruction and remain open.
The essential elements of the strategy include:
- Consistent implementation of layered mitigation strategies to reduce transmission of [COVID-19] in schools;
- Phased mitigation and learning modes based on levels of community transmission;
- Testing to identify individuals with [COVID-19] infection to limit transmission and outbreaks;
- Vaccination for teachers and school staff, and in communities, as soon as supply allows.
Regardless of the level of community transmission, the guidelines say all schools should adopt five key mitigation strategies to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak. These include:
- Universal and correct use of masks;
- Physical distancing;
- Handwashing and respiratory etiquette;
- Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities;
- Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the health department.
The CDC notes that despite careful planning and consistent implementation of mitigation, some situations may occur that lead school officials to consider temporarily closing schools or parts of a school to in-person instruction.
“These decisions should be made based on careful considerations of a
variety of factors and with the emphasis on ensuring the health and wellness of students, their families, and teachers and staff. Such situations may include classrooms or schools experiencing an active outbreak and schools in areas experiencing rapid or persistent rises in case incidence or severe burden
on health care capacity,” the guidance says.
It also notes that the absence of in-person educational options may disadvantage children from low-resourced communities, which may include large representation of racial and ethnic minority groups, English
learners, and students with disabilities.
“Plans for safe delivery of in-person instruction in K-12 schools must consider efforts to promote fair access to healthy educational environments for students and staff,” the guidance says. “Thus, essential elements of school reopening plans should take into account the communities and groups that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 infections and severe outcomes.”
In The News
In The News
WASHINGTON -- Despite changes reflecting the spirit of compromise, Senate Democrats were unable on Wednesday to convince a single Republican... Read More
WASHINGTON -- Despite changes reflecting the spirit of compromise, Senate Democrats were unable on Wednesday to convince a single Republican to vote with them in support of guaranteeing Americans the right to easy access to the polls. As a result, the Senate voted 49-51 to end... Read More
With just two critical weeks to go before Election Day, Republican Glenn Youngkin has pulled into a statistical dead heat... Read More
With just two critical weeks to go before Election Day, Republican Glenn Youngkin has pulled into a statistical dead heat with Democrat Terry McAuliffe. A widening partisan gap in voter engagement and an apparent shift in issue priorities are bolstering the GOP newcomer, a new poll... Read More
WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday said Americans who got either the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson... Read More
WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday said Americans who got either the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine can now get a COVID-19 booster, and also say that those eligible for a booster don’t have to get the same brand as their initial... Read More
This week, the Environmental Protection Agency released a new roadmap to accelerate efforts to protect Americans from per- and polyfluoroalkyl... Read More
This week, the Environmental Protection Agency released a new roadmap to accelerate efforts to protect Americans from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a class of toxic chemicals found in food packaging and other common commercial products that can cause severe health problems. "We are exploring ways for... Read More
WASHINGTON -- While economists warned about disruptions to the U.S. supply chain, Chuck Fowke told a congressional panel Wednesday about... Read More
WASHINGTON -- While economists warned about disruptions to the U.S. supply chain, Chuck Fowke told a congressional panel Wednesday about countertops. “If you can’t get the cabinets, you can’t put the countertops on,” Fowke said as he testified on behalf of the National Association of Home... Read More
It was only nine years ago that researchers discovered a method for editing human genes using a specialized technology called... Read More
It was only nine years ago that researchers discovered a method for editing human genes using a specialized technology called the CRISPR-Cas9 tool. CRISPR-Cas9 enables geneticists and medical researchers to edit parts of the genome by removing, adding or altering sections of the DNA sequence. Ethicists,... Read More