On Friday, the CDC updated its guidance to say that fully vaccinated teachers and students do not need to wear masks in school buildings. The news comes as children as young as age 12 are now eligible to get shots. There has been a national vaccine campaign to encourage everyone to get vaccinated as well as an overall decline in COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths.
“We’re at a new point in the pandemic that we’re all really excited about,” and so it’s time to update the guidance, says Erin Sauber-Schatz, who leads the CDC task force that prepares guidelines to keep Americans safe from the virus.
So far, the CDC is not requiring teachers to get shots, nor does it offer a way for school staff to differentiate which students have been vaccinated and which ones have not. The CDC has also recommended a return to full-time, in-person instruction for students. The agency said students should return to school in the full “regardless of whether all of the prevention strategies can be implemented at the school.”
“…schools where not everyone is fully vaccinated should implement physical distancing to the extent possible within their structures (in addition to masking and other prevention strategies), but should not exclude students from in-person learning to keep a minimum distance requirement,” says the CDC.