“Working together, school administrators and public health workers can carefully consider community transmission rates."
The CDC now placing the onus of safeguarding in-person education on local school districts, even as it relaxes federal guidance.
"COVID won't just go away."
Despite the fact that most kids in K through 12 school aren’t vaccinated, and a highly-infectious COVID variant is racing across the country.
"The Delta variant now represents 83% of sequenced cases. This is a dramatic increase from up from 50% the week of July 3rd."
Leaving some parents in certain school districts in the dark.
"What are they thinking? Where are they leaning? We want to know that."
"We're still gonna wear our mask, we're still gonna have out hand sanitizers on our backpacks."
"Sanitizing of high touch point surfaces, limiting student-shared materials as much as possible."
“We’ve done a reevaluation of the science.”
The CDC updated its guidance on schools July 9, and said vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks or socially distance. It also said social distancing is no longer make or break. "We're really focused on getting kids back in the classroom in fall."
Parents want to know why because even eligible children aren’t getting vaccinated.
"We learned that cumulative orders for vaccinations through the vaccines for children program are down more than 12 million doses since the start of this pandemic."
Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says kids under 12 likely won’t be able to get vaccinated until late fall, at best.
And schools are complaining, it’s impossible to track who’s vaccinated and who’s not. Even the head of the CDC task force that prepares recommendations has acknowledged this.
“It can be difficult for a school to either document the vaccination status of their students, teachers and staff. And so, in that situation, they might decide to do universal policies. So, they might require everybody to mask.”
This uncertainty is part of the reason why the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending everyone in schools wear masks—no matter their vaccination status.
Either way, most educators want to be back in the classroom to catch up.
"Excited to have a full school year with their kids with them in person on the first day of school. Able to build those relationships and just pick up where the kids are so we can move them as far as we possibly can."
And students? They miss their friends.
"I'm going to be really excited. I'm probably going to talk to them, see how they're doing because I haven't seen them in a year."
For now, though, school districts will make their own policies—even if many parents are confused about what’s best.