• February 26, 2024

Schools Are Deciding What The New CDC Mask Guidelines Mean For The Classroom : NPR

A girl in Jersey City wore a mask at her pre-K graduation almost a year ago. Now schools are deciding how looser CDC guidelines on masks will affect education. Seth Wenig / AP Hide caption

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Seth Wenig / AP

A girl in Jersey City wore a mask at her pre-K graduation almost a year ago. Now schools are deciding how looser CDC guidelines on masks will affect education.

Seth Wenig / AP

This week brought some dizzying updates to the year-long history of the school opening.

Surprisingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The security guidance for COVID-19 has been changedand tell people who have been fully vaccinated that, with a few exceptions, they can now congregate both indoors and outdoors without face masks or social distancing. The announcement came just a day after the CDC also gave children ages 12-15 the go-ahead to receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

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What does all this mean for schools? It’s complicated.

The vaccination upgrade is certainly good news for families and school leaders who want their middle schools to fully reopen. It is unlikely to have much of an impact on many districts’ plans for the remainder of the school year, as children who receive their first shot will not be considered “fully” vaccinated for another five weeks, but it will certainly make classrooms easier in the fall fully open again when many students return vaccinated.

However, it is worth noting that allowing younger children to be vaccinated does not guarantee that they will be vaccinated. Last poll by the KFF COVID-19 vaccine monitor found significant vaccine reluctance among the families of the early adolescents. Almost a quarter said they definitely wouldn’t vaccinate their children, while a quarter remained undecided. Another 18% said they would allow their child to be vaccinated if the schools required it, and only 30% of caregivers said their children would get the shot ASAP.

To calm anxious families The American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued A statement recommending COVID-19 vaccinations for children 12 years and older states: “Vaccines are safe and effective in protecting individuals and populations from infectious diseases” and “New vaccines are made after a long, rigorous and transparent process rated.”

Regarding the CDC’s revision of the masking rules, it is unclear what impact this will have on teachers, staff and students in the near future. Although the CDC has not yet revised its safety guidelines for K-12 schools, at least one district acted quickly on Thursday to announce changes to its own safety guidelines for schools.

“In accordance with the new [CDC] After the Cobb Schools, people who are no longer fully vaccinated need to wear a mask. ” wrote Chris Ragsdale, the headmaster in Cobb County, Ga. “I also want to make it clear that anyone who wishes to continue wearing a mask during school attendance and / or school events should feel free to do so.”

In many places where mask wearing has become unpopular, families and political leaders want children to learn without a mask – regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said at a press conference on Tuesday that he believes children should not be masked in classrooms, vaccinated or not.

“These kids don’t have to wear these masks,” DeSantis said The CDC has said that masking is a key strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools. On Thursday, the Palm Beach County Schools announced to families that masks would be optional at the beginning of the next school year.

In some states, masks are already optional in schools.

“Whether a child wears a mask in school should only be left to the parents of a student.” South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said earlier this week when he issued an executive order that allowed parents to exclude their children from school-based mask requirements.

The move was condemned by the Palmetto State Teachers Association. In a statement, the group said: “Many families and employees no longer have a choice for face-to-face learning if they are willing to follow clear directions from our health authorities.”

Multiple counties in Utah Now parents can also simply sign a form to exempt their children from the school’s requirements for the face mask. And on Thursday, the Utah governor announced a controversial move to end a nationwide mask mandate in schools for the final week of the school year.

Jack

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