In a move long awaited by teachers, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday issued new guidelines on how to safely operate schools during an epidemic.
The recommendations, which are more detailed than those issued by the agency under the Trump administration, seek to create a middle path between those who want to reopen classrooms immediately and those teachers and parents who Individuals are reluctant to return to directive before extensive vaccination.
What do the guidelines say about reopening classrooms?
With proper mitigation, such as masking, physical disturbances, and hygiene, primary school community virus transmission at any level, guidelines can work in the state.
The document states that middle and high schools can safely work individually in all but the highest level of transmission, which is defined in two ways: when 10 percent or more seven days of coronovirus testing in a community Return to the period of; Or when there are 100 or more virus cases per 100,000 people in the community over seven days.
Middle and high schools can spread at any level if they conduct weekly coronavirus tests of students and staff members. The agency also recommends that at high levels of spread at the community level, all schools attend students’ class on different days or reduce attendance by virtually learning from certain groups of students.
Guidelines state that teacher immunization, while important, should not be considered a prerequisite for reopening closed schools.
Will school districts need them for adoption?
No, these are recommendations. Most school districts in the country are already working at least partially individually, and the guidelines say they can continue to do so, even when community broadcasting is high.
Is there any way to see if my school can open safely under CDC guidelines?
like. You can see your community’s test positivity rate and the number of new cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days (these numbers are often available on state or county websites, although you need to do some math to get a rate per 100,000 people May be required), then compare the agency’s policy recommendations for the level of broadcasting that your schools are doing. But the guidelines acknowledged that some schools are safely open to higher levels of community broadcasting than the recommendations suggest.
Will these guidelines encourage more districts to return students to classrooms?
It is difficult to tell. In many districts that remain closed, labor issues are a major obstacle to reopening. Some local teachers’ unions are demanding teacher vaccinations, allowing teachers with vulnerable relatives to continue working from home and stricter security arrangements in buildings. But the guidelines point to established research on how to conduct schools safely during an epidemic that can help districts and unions reach consensus.
What do doctors and public health experts think of the guidelines?
He was warmly welcomed by many Coronavirus experts, who have long argued that schools should be the last places to close and reopen amid the first epidemic. Some were surprised, however, by the lack of emphasis on air quality, and what they said was a misguided focus on cleaning surfaces, given that now experts believe the virus is largely used for air Is transmitted through
Others said they thought that the limits for opening middle and high schools are far more restrictive, noting that some schools have worked safely through epidemics at high levels of community broadcasting.
What do teachers’ unions think about them?
Both national associations said they were pleased to see the CDC have clear, science-based detailed guidelines. But both had some concerns.
Randy Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, has overemphasized the importance of in-school virus testing. And Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, echoed expert concerns about the lack of guidelines to emphasize air quality. She was not happy with what she says in the language on physical disturbances as the wiggling room, which left the impression that six feet was ideal, but strictness was not required.
How do these guidelines compare to the CDC issued during the Trump administration?
The new guidelines are clearly clear; They can be read as being more strict, but they also discuss the possibility that schools can open safely at any stage of community broadcasting. Previous guidelines It was suggested that schools use similar indicators of community transmission to decide what to open, but provide limited guidance. Both the earlier recommendations and the new guidance provide schools with flexibility in making decisions based on individual factors.
Do the guidelines say that teachers can reduce precautions such as wearing and removing masks once a vaccine is applied?
Only unclear. The CDC states that mitigation strategies will need to continue “until we better understand the potential transmission between people receiving the Kovid-19 vaccine and greater immunization coverage in the community.” Many experts believe that certain precautions, such as masks, will be warranted until all students are vaccinated; There are currently no vaccines for children.
Whether schools will continue to implement social disturbances or to place students in small groups will be less clear. a The sample The effects of various mitigation strategies are investigated in schools, stating that vaccinated teachers will have a significant effect in reducing transmission, possibly helping to reduce students and making them less important.
Do the guidelines apply to private schools?
The document does not differentiate between public and private schools, and recommendations can be adopted by any school. Private schools are currently more likely to be open than public schools, although they are also subject to state regulations on how to operate safely during an epidemic.