Guidelines For Reopening Schools In The US To Be Released In a Few Days: CDC

This is how they react in New York when they return to the classroom 2:23

(WAB NEWS) –– The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will release guidelines on reopening schools next week. This was reported this Friday by the director of the agency, Dr. Rochelle Walensky. His statements come amid mounting tensions over the best way to get students and teachers back into the classroom.

“Among the things we must do to ensure that schools are safe is make sure that the spread of the disease in the community has decreased,” Walensky said during a briefing at the White House.

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“We are actively working on the guidelines, the official guide, which will be published next week,” he added.

The guidelines will come amid a national debate on when and how to safely reopen schools. Precisely, the fear of spreading the coronavirus closed its doors and forced online classes in the middle of the pandemic.

President Joe Biden has noted that he will work to reopen most K-12 schools within his first 100 days in office. However, he has emphasized that it will depend on medical and health experts to dictate national guidelines in order to reopen safely.

Initially, the White House distanced itself from Walensky’s comments earlier in the week. In them, the CDC director suggested that schools could safely reopen without teachers getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

“There is growing data suggesting that schools can safely reopen. And that this safe reopening does not suggest that teachers should be vaccinated, “Walensky said during a briefing at the White House on Wednesday.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that Walensky was speaking “in a personal capacity.” And he added that although Walensky was the director of the CDC, the agency had not yet issued its official guidance.

But on Friday, Psaki seemed to side with Walensky’s comments. The official noted that vaccines are just one part of several mitigating factors that will help schools reopen safely.

“There are several mitigating factors that we have seen in the data to date. that will help make that safe, ”Psaki said at a briefing.

New York begins to reopen its schools 2:20

“Of course, vaccines are part of that. But so is the use of masks, so is social distancing. It is also ensuring that schools have the ventilation and facilities they need to do so safely, ”Psaki added.

Some teacher unions are reluctant to reopen some schools amid fears that teachers will be infected with COVID-19.

The Chicago Teachers Union told its members to be prepared to strike if the school district retaliates against teachers who choose to continue teaching online. This after Chicago Public Schools CEO Dr. Janice Jackson and other school officials said it’s time for everyone to get back in the classroom.

Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, warned that reopening most schools within 100 days “may not happen.” Precisely, while the United States continues to deal with a high transmission of covid-19.

The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, has also said that Biden’s goal may need to be reassessed. This depending on how the coronavirus spreads in the coming months.

As of this Friday, the coronavirus had claimed the lives of more than 456,400 Americans, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. About 35.2 million doses of covid-19 vaccines have been administered and about 6.9 million Americans have received both doses.

Twenty-four states plus the city of Washington have allowed some or all of their teachers and school personnel to receive covid-19 vaccines.

Biden has signed several executive actions to support the reopening of schools and establish a national strategy to control the pandemic. The president is pushing Congress to approve another $ 170 billion for K-12 schools, colleges and universities. This is with the goal of helping them operate safely in person or facilitate remote learning, as part of their $ 1.9 billion COVID-19 relief package.

Congress approved $ 82 billion in aid for schools in December, which Biden has said he sees as a “down payment.”

Omar Jimenez, Jack Hannah and Katie Lobosco, all from CNN, contributed to this report.

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