President Joe Biden had vowed in his inauguration ceremony to open schools with safety precautions.
Opening the educational institutes had been a highly discussed topic for months considering the pandemic which forced classes to be carried online.
CDC Calls For Safe Reopening Of Schools: Covid Guidelines Mandatory
Federal Health Officials called for a discussion on Tuesday about the various concerns of sending kids back to school.
They stated that strict safety measures such as masks and social distancing must be carried for a safe teaching environment.
Researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that the local officials should also impose the necessary rules on these public settings to reduce any incoming cases of infection.
They added that the school authorities should restrict indoor dining and indoor sports and instead allow students to be in more open spaces for enough social distancing.
CDC officials stated that despite the growing pandemic and the rise of new harmful variants, schools are less likely to spread major outbreaks.
Dr. Margaret Honein who is the Epidemiologist and Director of the Division of Birth Defects and Infant Disorders at CDC’s National Center of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities expressed that schools are essential for children’s mental and social health. So they should be prioritized for a child’s well being.
She also stated how CDC was unsure of allowing kids to be sent back to school considering the rapid community spread.
But studies showed that schools did not endure outbreaks unlike other places such as hospitals or workplaces. Also, with proper masks and social distancing measures, new cases can be prevented at maximum.
Many educators and public health experts state that schools should be the first to open and the last to shut down.
President of the American Federation of Teachers Ms.Randi Weingarten and President of the Rockefeller Foundation Mr.Rajiv Shah organized mass testing for the virus to ensure the safety of schools and help children resume their studies in classrooms.
This was required to provide children with free social outlets, free school meals, and other educational facilities for students with poor financial backgrounds.
Researchers stated in their studies that around 1700 school days were lost to quarantines and lockdowns.
They also studied about 17 secondary and elementary schools in rural Wisconsin where masks were mandatory.
Scientists found that infection risks were much lower in schools than in crowded neighborhoods.
It was also shown that an estimated total of only 191 infections was reported among staff and students. Only 7 cases were caused due to in-school transmissions.
Experts state that with strict practicing of covid guidelines, these cases can be easily reduced and schools can continue to function well without classes having to be shifted online.