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CDC: schools should be open (new funding should help)

4/23/2021

school safety during COVID-19

The people at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) understand the importance of in-person learning, provided all the stakeholders remain safe.

Using the best available evidence at this time, the CDC states:

  • It is critical for schools to open as safely and as soon as possible, and remain open.
  • Success in preventing the introduction and subsequent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in schools is connected to and facilitated by preventing transmission in communities.
  • A decision to remain open … should be driven by a “classroom-first” approach; in-person instruction should be prioritized over extracurricular activities … to minimize risk of transmission in schools and protect in-person learning.
  • Updates last month include:
    • Physical distancing recommendations to reflect at least 3 feet between students in classrooms, with clearer guidance provided when a greater distance (such as 6 feet) is recommended.
    • Ventilation as a component of strategies to clean and maintain healthy facilities.
  • All schools should implement and layer prevention strategies and should prioritize universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing.
  • Testing to identify individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination for teachers and staff provide additional layers of COVID-19 protection in schools.

Financial relief

In addition, the U.S. Department of Education announced that in March states received access to two-thirds of their allocation from the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund — a total of $81 billion. The remaining $41 billion will become available after states' plans are approved by the Department of Education (see links and templates here).


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