CDC recommends schools continue to require wearing masks, social distancing

Until more children and teenagers are able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control is recommending schools still follow its prevention strategies, which include mask-wearing and social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Following recent guidance that suggested fully vaccinated people can resume pre-pandemic activities without the use of a facemask, the CDC recommended schools finish the 2020-2021 school year with the same prevention strategies in place.

The CDC said it intends to update its guidance for schools in the coming weeks, which will inform school planning for the 2021-2022 academic year.

RELATED: Georgia 13-year-old excited, eager to get COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine is currently available to children as young as 12 years old and it wasn't until May 12 that children 12 to 15 years old became eligible. This means most students will not be fully vaccinated — two weeks removed from their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — by the end of the current school year.

The CDC also said the recommendation is based on allowing for the time required for school districts to form cohesive policies. 

The CDC’s Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools advises universal and correct use of facemasks, physical distancing, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities and contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine. 

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