Ian Patrick, FISM News
After the confusing 2020-2021 school year filled with at-home and hybrid instruction, and with parents overwhelmingly supporting in-person attendance near the end of the academic year, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has updated its guidelines once again for schools nationwide. The updates from July 9 are meant to encourage schools to reapply in-person teaching for the upcoming school year.
In their updated guidelines for Kindergarten to 12th grade schools, the CDC notes something that many parents and teachers seemed to understand from the beginning: “students benefit from in-person learning.” With this in mind the CDC loosened many of their restrictions on schools.
Here are some of the notable updated guidelines:
- Masking Indoors – CDC now says that masks are “recommended for people who are not fully vaccinated including students, teachers, and staff,” and no child under 2 years of age should wear one.
- Masking Outdoors – only recommended for those who are not fully vaccinated “in areas of substantial to high transmission,” but otherwise CDC recognizes that masking outside is not necessary.
- Physical Distancing – citing studies from earlier in the year, the CDC updated its physical distancing guidelines in schools to only 3 feet apart especially if not all students and staff are fully vaccinated.
Other guidelines follow common sense, such as suggesting students and staff stay home if they exhibit any symptoms of sickness, encouraging people to cover their mouths when the sneeze or cough, and continually cleaning the school itself.
Despite these updated guidelines, California is continuing to require all students and educators to wear masks during the school day. Their reason for maintaining these requirements apparently has do with the fact that many of its school facilities are unable to accommodate physical distancing.