DORAL, FL -The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a guidance for back to school aimed at students from K to 12 grade.
According to the key prevention tips the organization shared, getting as much children vaccinated as possible will be the top priority for the upcoming fall. Up until now, just 1 out of 3 kids ages 12 to 17 have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
“For families who haven’t gotten their kids vaccinated yet, now is the time,” says Erin Sauber-Schatz, lead for the Community Interventions and Critical Populations Task Force at the CDC. “It takes five weeks to get fully vaccinated. If you got your first shot today, the second would be July 30, and you’d be fully vaccinated on Aug. 13. So now’s the time if you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet.”
The guidance also noted that children and school staff members who get vaccinated may skip wearing face masks at schools, although they would require to use them while on school buses.
But those who haven’t gotten the shots would still need to wear a face covering. This measure applies for children as well as teachers and staff members.
Children and adults attending school that are unable to get a vaccine, like 2 year olds, would need to remain social distancing from others whenever it’s possible to a minimum of 3 feet while at indoor spaces.
“If 3 feet is not feasible, it should not keep kids out of school,” Sauber-Schatz says. “In our guidance we focus on the most important prevention strategies, and they should be removed one at a time and then closely monitored.”
They also recommend contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, “cleaning and disinfection are also important layers of prevention to keep schools safe.”
In addition, the CDC also suggests for back to school to continue washing hands frequently, keeping a proper ventilation, spaces cleaned and avoid going to school if signs of illness appear. In this case, it it recommended to test for the coronavirus and quarantine if indicated.
Measures were also shared regarding what to do during the summer to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. On this matter, the CDC says it’s best not to travel until fully vaccinated. But if not traveling is not an option, the advise is to make sure kids wear masks as much as possible.
The CDC adds that enforcement of these guidelines is up to local jurisdictions.