New CDC Guidance Urges Reopening of Schools

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published new guidelines for child care and education safety Thursday, with an unmistakable emphasis on the need to reopen America’s schools.

“The best available evidence indicates if children become infected, they are far less likely to suffer severe symptoms,” the guidance says. It adds that “extended school closure is harmful to children.”

Critics immediately jumped on the new document, which followed public pressure from the White House. The president wants to see a return to live instruction immediately and the administration had made its dissatisfaction with the CDC’s prior stance clear. At one point, Vice President Pence said “we don't want CDC guidance to be a reason why people don't reopen their schools."

The latest guidance does say that when there is “substantial, uncontrolled transmission, schools should work closely with local health officials to make decisions on whether to maintain school operations.” But it isn’t clear what the criteria for determining “substantial, uncontrolled transmission” would be.

The new guidelines advise against routine coronavirus screening for children. They do encourage regular hand sanitation, face mask usage, and pods to help prevent spread.

Read more at The Hill