Infections from different strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are waxing and waning and there is a periodic rise in cases as and when there is a spurt or when a new variant is detected and begins to spread. This pandemic has been an inconvenience to school-going children across the United States. While there was a delay in getting children vaccinated, children had to go into quarantine if they came into contact with a person infected with Covid-19.
CDC Supports Test To Stay Strategy For Schools – Latest News
A press release from the Centre for disease control and prevention (CDC) in the United States on Friday 17 December 2021.
CDC director Rochelle Walensky announced that henceforth children coming into contact with a person infected with Covid 19 could use the facility of test to stay and not be required to be quarantined. This decision was taken after tests were conducted on the efficacy of this policy in California and Illinois.
Lake County in Illinois studied the effect of the test to stay option in 90 schools and found that only 1.5% of the students infected others. This works out to 16 in 1035 students and helped bring down cases of new infections. These encouraging results were published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report published on 17 December 2021.
One out of every 5 Los Angeles county schools also tried out the test to stay program and cases of Covid 19 infection were actually found to decline, particularly in the areas where test to stay had been implemented. The CDC noted that children had been wearing masks in both the states where the effects of the test to stay policy were being studied.
Zoe McLaren, a health policy expert at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, expressed satisfaction with this strategy as his studies have proved that this is bringing cases of new infections down while also allowing children to spend more time in school.
The CDC is satisfied that the system is working effectively to keep unvaccinated children in school by testing them regularly immediately after they come into contact with anyone confirmed to be infected with Covid-19. The CDC is also continuing to recommend that children from the age of 5 years can get themselves vaccinated and those above 16 years of age can also get a third booster dose of the Covid vaccine.
In addition, to test to stay, schools across the United States are following the strict CDC guidelines of children from the age of 2 and above right up to teachers to wear masks at all times when indoors, irrespective of their vaccination status. Schools are also following the guidelines of maintaining physical distancing by 3 feet between children and also with teachers and school staff. Schools are advising and monitoring handwashing, sanitizing, ventilation, and respiratory etiquette. Students and teachers falling ill are asked to stay home and seek medical treatment immediately.
All these layered prevention strategies are beginning to have a positive effect in keeping cases down in schools while there is a resurgence in new cases occurring in the United States. Localities need to support and back up the initiative taken in the schools by monitoring community transmissions, screening testing, vaccination coverage, and occurrence of outbreaks in order to bring down the rate of infections.
Early trends appear to be encouraging and both the CDC as well as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) are conducting regular procedures and studying their effects before implementing them. The test to stay strategy seems to be working and can help children get the most of physical classes and prevent loss of quality time in school.
With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.