After CDC says unvaccinated students, teachers should wear masks at school this fall, Massachusetts education officials to review guidelines

Officials said the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education plans to review the Kindergarten to Grade 12 guidelines released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine if changes are needed to the current plan to reopen. state schools.

DESE said that in the fall, all health and safety instructions, including mask wearing and physical distancing, will be lifted as students and staff return to classrooms. The ministry said it plans to work with the public health ministry to issue additional health and safety recommendations over the summer if they become necessary.

But on Friday, the CDC published guide Regarding the reopening of schools, these masks must be worn indoors by all persons aged 2 years and over who are not fully vaccinated.

“Consistent and correct use of the mask by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded places, when physical distance cannot be maintained,” the guide says.

Massachusetts currently plans to require masks in the fall.

“DESE will carefully review the new CDC guidelines released today and consult with local medical experts to determine if any changes are needed to the current school reopening guidelines,” said Colleen Quinn, spokesperson for the executive office of education. .

Masks were mandatory in Massachusetts until the end of the 2020-2021 school year. For summer programs, wearing masks is not mandatory but is encouraged, DESE said.

People under the age of 12 cannot currently receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The new CDC guidelines also emphasize in-person learning and recommend that schools maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet between students in classrooms, combined with the wearing of masks by those who do not. are not fully vaccinated.

“When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, for example when schools cannot fully reopen while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer several other prevention strategies, such as than masking inside, ”says the guide. bed.

The guidelines also recommend drug testing, ventilation, hand washing, testing and contact tracing to help keep schools safe. Students, teachers and staff should stay home if they show signs of infectious disease, the agency said.

Associated content:

  • Massachusetts Summer School mask mandate still in effect for unvaccinated students and adults

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