Infectious Disease

Prioritize in-person learning, says CDC in the updated guidelines for schools

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In the updated guidelines for K-12 schools, the CDC said returning to face-to-face classes this fall is a priority “regardless of whether all prevention strategies can be implemented at the school”.

“For example, because of the importance of face-to-face learning, schools where not all are fully vaccinated should implement physical distancing within their structures as much as possible (in addition to masking and other prevention strategies), but they should not exclude students from teaching – the learns to keep a minimum distance, ”said the CDC.

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The guideline, last updated in February, states that anyone who is 2 years or older and is not fully vaccinated should wear masks indoors at all times, but that masks are “generally” not needed outdoors – for example during breaks. The exception is unvaccinated individuals in high-transmission areas, who “are encouraged to wear masks in crowded outdoor areas or during activities that involve prolonged close contact with others who have not been fully vaccinated,” the CDC said.

“When physical education classes or breaks take place indoors, it is especially important for people who are not fully vaccinated to wear masks if possible and to maximize the distance,” it said.

However, schools with children under 12 who cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine should follow the containment strategies outlined in previous guidelines.

The CDC said promoting vaccinations could help schools safely return to face-to-face learning and extracurricular activities such as exercise.

Since March, the CDC has recommended that students keep their classrooms 3 feet apart. “When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, for example when schools cannot fully reopen while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to use several other prevention strategies, such as

Other important levels of prevention include screening tests, ventilation, hand washing, breathing labels, staying at home and getting tested in the event of illness, contact tracing combined with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, according to the CDC.

Local governments and institutions should monitor all community broadcasts, vaccination coverage, screening tests and outbreak occurrences in order to make decisions at the level of multi-layered prevention strategies, it said.

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