CDC To Recommend Staff And Students Wear Masks In K-12 Schools

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CDC To Recommend Staff And Students Wear Masks In K-12 Schools

Topline

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is expected to update its guidance for schools Tuesday, according to multiple reports, recommending everyone in K-12 schools wear a mask, going back on its guidance released earlier this month, as Delta variant cases continue to spike in the U.S.

Key Facts

The CDC will recommend all staff and students wear a mask in K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination, according to reports from CNN and Bloomberg.

This new guidance would revert CDC’s recommendations released in early July, allowing those who are vaccinated in schools to not have to wear a mask indoors.

The agency is also expected to recommend people who are vaccinated wear masks again indoors if they are located in a city with high Covid-19 transmission. 

The change comes amid an increase in Covid cases, with the 7-day moving average of cases at about 42,000 as of Sunday, according to the CDC, up from about 13,000 a month ago.

The CDC tells Forbes that it will give an update on the pandemic late Tuesday, but did not detail if mask guidances would be updated.

Crucial Quote

“The CDC is going to say that what we should do is, everyone under the age of 12 should probably be wearing a mask in school,” said President Joe Biden at a CNN town hall last week. “Secondly, those over the age of 12 who are able to get vaccinated — if you’re vaccinated, you shouldn’t wear a mask, if you aren’t vaccinated, you should be wearing a mask.”

Key Background

Since the CDC released guidelines in July recommending vaccinated students and staff to go maskless indoors, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other doctors around the U.S. have advocated for a universal mask recommendation at schools, since students under the age of 12 are not eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine and could still spread viral illnesses like the coronavirus that causes Covid. Although the CDC can give recommendations for mask wearing, some states have passed laws that ban schools from mandating masks for students and staff, such as Vermont, South Carolina, Iowa, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and Utah. 

Further Reading

CDC To Reinstate Mask Guidance For Vaccinated Americans In Certain Circumstances (Forbes)

These States Have Banned Schools From Requiring Covid Vaccination And Masks (Forbes)

American Academy Of Pediatrics Recommends Stricter Back-To-School Mask Policies Than CDC (Forbes)

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