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CDC offers limited guidance for teachers and students returning to in-person learning

The CDC announced Friday that vaccinated students and teachers are not required to wear masks in school buildings.

The changes were announced with children as young as 12 being able to get vaccinated as well as the decline in Covid-19 related hospitalizations and deaths.

While this change was announced, the CDC is not advising schools to require shots for everyone eligible, and is not offering guidance on how teachers can know which students are vaccinated or how parents can know which teachers are vaccinated.

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Other confusing messages the CDC has offered is that spacing should still remain at 3 feet apart for desks, but that space should not be a reason to keep kids out of schools. They have also said that spacing is not required for students and teachers who are vaccinated.

The advising that the CDC has offered is for schools to do what makes the most sense, even if it means requiring masks still due to sorting those who are and aren’t vaccinated becoming to burdensome, especially in middle school where some are eligible by age and others aren’t.

While some states are still requiring the use of masks even if the child is vaccinated, other states are barring the use of masks in schools entirely.

Some of the guidance for schools given by the CDC includes no one needing masks in recess or outdoor situations, but urging the use of them if someone is not vaccinated. The guidance also reminds schools of the importance of handwashing and ventilation, as well as staying home when sick. The CDC suggests testing as a way to manage the prevention of outbreaks, but says those who are vaccinated do not need to be a part of the screening. The CDC also suggests grouping kids into smaller groups to help reduce the spread of the virus, but urges schools to not separate kids based on vaccination status in order to avoid stigmatizing them.