(Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday updated its guidance to help reopen schools in the fall, including recommending masking indoors for everyone who is not fully vaccinated and three feet of distance within classrooms.
The CDC in its latest guidance said all kindergarten through grade 12 schools in the United States should continue to mandate wearing masks indoors by all individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
The agency said that if localities decide to remove prevention strategies in schools based on local conditions, they should remove them one at a time. Schools should monitor closely for increases in COVID-19 cases before removing the next prevention strategy.
“Because of the importance of in-person learning, schools where not everyone is fully vaccinated should implement physical distancing to the extent possible within their structures, but should not exclude students from in-person learning to keep a minimum distance requirement,” the new guidance said.
A study by the CDC also released on Friday showed that half of unvaccinated adolescents and parents of unvaccinated adolescents reported being uncertain about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, or did not intend to get one at all.
(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler)
(Reuters) – Public schools in Los Angeles are set to reopen from next month, after a teachers’ union approved a plan for a physical and hybrid return to classes.
Many schools continue to teach students remotely more than a year after the novel coronavirus prompted widespread closures across the United States, and the Biden administration has been aiming to reopen in-person learning for millions of public school students without sparking coronavirus outbreaks.
Education officials at the Los Angeles Unified School (LAUSD) district are tentatively planning for physical classes to restart at elementary and preschools by mid-April, while grades 7-12 are scheduled to return by about the end of April.
“While the improving COVID-19 situation is still fragile, we believe this agreement puts LAUSD on the path to a physical reopening of schools that puts safety first,” United Teachers Los Angeles union president Cecily Myart-Cruz said in a statement.
Under the agreement, elementary teachers will be expected to teach from their classrooms unless they have a verified medical reason to stay remote, while secondary teachers will teach most classes virtually.
The union said the district was also considering using outdoor tents for exceptionally large class sizes.
On Friday, the U.S. government updated its COVID-19 guidelines, halving the acceptable distance between students who are wearing masks to at least three feet (0.91 m) from at least six feet.
The teachers’ union said this change would not impact the agreement or its other safety measures – which include personal protective equipment, improved ventilation, daily cleaning and disinfection.
(Reporting by Sarah Morland in Gdansk, Editing by William Maclean)