DETROIT – The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention released its new guidelines on how to safely reopen schools for in-person learning Friday.
In a telephone briefing, health officials said the CDC is not mandating that schools open, but rather it’s providing a road map for how to do so safely.
They highlighted five key mitigation strategies, stressing two are most important -- universal and correct mask usage being required for all students and staff, and physically distancing of at least six feet between people.
CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky placed heavy emphasis on masks and six feet of distance.
“These two strategies are incredibly important in areas that have high have high community spread of COVID-19,” Walensky said. “Which, right now, is the vast majority of communities in the United States.”
Other key strategies include washing hands, cleaning facilities and improving ventilation; and contact tracing, isolation and quarantining.
The CDC said getting teachers vaccinated should be a priority, but not a requirement.
“Our operational strategy specifically includes a component on vaccinations for teachers and school staff as an additional layer of protection that can be added to the recommended five key mitigation strategies,” Walensky said.
In high areas of transmission, the CDC advocated for weekly testing of teachers and students.
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