New rules for schools in the US
Islam News – The C.D.C. released new guidance for schools in the United States today, and the main takeaway is striking: Schools should fully reopen this fall, even if they can’t follow all of the recommended safety precautions to curb the spread of the virus.
According to the New York Times, the guidance is a sharp departure from the agency’s past recommendations and is an acknowledgment that virtual learning has been deeply damaging for many students. Officials said they were confident this is the correct approach, even with the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, and the fact that children under 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination.
The agency also said that school districts should use local health data to guide decisions about when to tighten or relax prevention measures like mask-wearing and physical distancing.
“Officials didn’t say so explicitly, but it seems to me like the benefits of opening schools now outweigh the risks,” said Sheryl Gay Stolberg, who covers health policy for The Times. “At the same time, the C.D.C. recognized that a national approach was no longer workable; there is simply too much variation between communities in both spread of the virus and rates of vaccination. So it was time to localize the approach.”
Some experts praised the new guidelines for their flexibility, while others pushed for clearer recommendations, or even fewer restraints. The feedback demonstrates just how divisive the issue of school closures has been since the outset of the pandemic.
“Providing school guidance is a tough business for the C.D.C.,” Sheryl added. “They are damned if they do, damned if they don’t.”