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In Friday’s release of comprehensive guidelines for schools to reopen, many of which have not been in classroom settings for nearly a year, the Centers for Disease Control said staff access to vaccinations “should not be considered a condition for reopening schools for in-person instruction.”
The guidelines, similar to that introduced in 2020 as some school systems prepared to return to classroom learning, call for masks, sanitization practices, social distancing, and other steps to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The new CDC guidelines also say that staff members who are at higher risk for “severe illness,” including “older adults and people of all ages with certain underlying medical conditions or disabilities,” from the disease “should be offered options… that limit their exposure risk.” Such options include telework and modified job responsibilities that limit exposure risk, according to the new guidelines.
The guidelines also stipulate that “(e)ven after teachers and staff are vaccinated, schools need to continue mitigation measures for the foreseeable future, including requiring masks in schools and physical distancing.”
The guidelines also ask districts to “(e)ncourage employees and students to take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories about COVID-19, including social media if they are feeling overwhelmed or distressed.”
More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.
Perhaps the most hopeful news since the COVID-19 pandemic began was the approval late last year for emergency use of vaccines, first in the United Kingdom, followed shortly thereafter by the United States. As COVID-19 vaccine rollouts continue in the U.S. and people wait their turn in line, it’s remarkable to think just how fast science has responded and the pharmaceutical, manufacturing, distribution and health care sectors, along with academia, have collaborated with the common purpose of halting the spread of a disease that has claimed so many lives.