CDC Issues Guidance For Schools To Reopen “As Soon As Possible”
Just days after the CDC decided that “science” demands that two masks be worn instead of just one, on Friday afternoon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday released long-awaited guidance urging the nation’s elementary and secondary schools to reopen safely as soon as possible, saying they can operate by strictly adhering to safety precautions to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission in classrooms and in their communities.
“It is critical for schools to open as safely and as soon as possible, and remain open, to achieve the benefits of in-person learning and key support services,” the CDC said in the new guidelines. “All community members, students, families, teachers, and school staff should take actions to protect themselves and others where they live, work, learn, and play.”
Refuting its previous recommendation, the CDC now says that “there is evidence to suggest that K-12 in-person school attendance is not a primary driver of community transmission . Although children can be infected with SARS-CoV-2, can get sick from COVID-19, and can spread the virus to others , evidence indicates that children are less susceptible than adults, and may be less infectious . In addition, children are less likely than adults to have severe illness or die and are more likely to be asymptomatic.”
In other words, the “science” has changed again, and now the “scientists” agree that given the benefits of in-person learning, children should go to school as soon as possible as long as it is “safe” and as top recommendations for doing so safely it listed universal wearing of masks by students, staff and teachers as well as distancing so that people are six feet apart.
Also essential, the agency said, are proper hand-washing practices, cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, and working with health departments to use contact tracing, isolation and quarantine to reduce the risk of transmission once someone has been infected. The CDC now claims that strictly adhering to these measures will reduce the risk of Covid-19 in schools even if transmission is high in the community.
Again, not what “science” told us previously.
So what changed between “then” and “now”.
Well… you’ll laugh. As the WSJ notes, while “many of the recommendations, like mask wearing and physical distancing were in the agency’s previous guidelines, this time, though, the agency is urging schools to implement them, taking a more decisive tone.”
As yes, the “decisive tone” is what made all the difference between school lockdowns – which drove a nation of parents insane for the past year – and reopenings. Some more from the WSJ:
The National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union, applauded the CDC’s stronger tone on what mitigation strategies must be implemented and enforced in order for schools to safely reopen.
The agency’s previous approach left wiggle room on interpretation and application, said Becky Pringle, the union’s president. As a result, some schools spaced students 3 feet apart, instead of the recommended 6 feet, while others didn’t mandate mask-wearing inside buildings.
The clarity will also help cash-strapped districts make the case for additional funding to adhere to the safety guidelines, Pringle said. In short, the CDC is merely providing a conduit for insolvent schools to demand even more taxpayer bailouts.
The CDC issued the guidelines as many cities and states move to resume in-person instruction with Covid-19 cases declining across the country and pressure from many parents growing.
And since the CDC has become the country’s most politicized organization it needed to have a cover for once again making a mockery of the “science”, noting that studies have shown in-person instruction is more productive and beneficial for children than remote learning.
The reality: the CDC had to ensure that Biden’s promises would be fulfilled – even if it meant conflicting with its previous recommendations. The president has promised to help reopen a majority of K-8 schools in his first 100 days in office, calling the lack of school time a “national emergency.” And so the CDC was dragged in.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that all schools will promptly reopen. The timing and logistics of bringing students back to schools without Covid-19 transmission has led to sharp debates between parents pushing for reopenings and cautious school systems, as well as tense negotiations between teachers’ unions and city governments.
Reopening will present many challenges, according to school experts. Many schools lack testing capacity, proper ventilation and supplies, and will likely need additional resources to reopen. It can also be hard to keep students wearing masks.
But if it means millions in new funds, we are confident that even the teachers will take one for the team.
Fri, 02/12/2021 – 15:05