The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the foremost public health organization in the United States, has issued updated guidance for schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC has placed an emphasis on the importance of reopening classrooms to in-school learning.
The updated guidelines ask school leaders to work with local officials to make decisions based on the transmission of the virus in the area in which they live. In areas with minimal or moderate spread of the coronavirus, the recommendation is to practice social distancing, wear face coverings and increase sanitation of commonly used surfaces. In areas with “substantive and uncontrolled spread,” closing schools to distance learning is “an important consideration.”
The CDC added that, given the spikes that have occurred in different parts of the country at different times over the last few months, “plans for virtual learning should be in place in the event of a school closure.”
The CDC stated that the best current evidence of the more than 4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States poses a relative low risk to children of school age and that children appear to be a lower risk of being infected than adults. It added that, aside from a child’s home, his or her school has more of impact on a child’s health and well-being than any other.
Children and adolescents represent less than 7 percent of COVID-19 cases in the United States and less than 0.1 percent of deaths related to the virus.
In a statement, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said, “School closures have disrupted normal ways of life for children and parents and they have had negative health consequences on our youth. CDC is prepared to work with K-12 schools to safely reopen while protecting the most vulnerable.”
To see the full document released Thursday (“The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall”), click here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html