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CDC Revises Guidance Again in Light of Ballooning COVID-19 Cases
posted by: Melissa | July 28, 2021, 07:11 PM   

After the CDC relaxed its guidelines around schools this past month, many began to look forward to a maskless back-to-school season. Districts and schools made plans for in-person schooling in the fall, complete with less social distancing and voluntary masking.

The latest surge in COVID-19 cases across the country has changed things. The CDC has once again tightened its regulations, including those for schools. The CDC is now recommending that all students and staff in schools wear masks.

Its previous guidance stated vaccinated students and staff could forgo masking, however, the new Delta variant is spreading more rapidly and persistently than predicted, and there have been a number of breakthrough cases among the vaccinated.

It’s not clear what, if any, effect the change in guidance will have for teachers and students. Many large, urban districts were already planning to have universal masking in the fall. Other areas have gone in the opposite direction. For example, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed an executive order blocking schools from reintroducing mask mandates or requiring vaccines for older students.

No matter what schools and districts decide, there seems to be a lack of good options. Virtual schooling has not been as effective as in-person schooling, and mask wearing for both teachers and students does pose instructional difficulties, while forgoing masks during in-person instruction may well lead to further outbreaks among students and staff.

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