On Saturday, the CDC said that schools should continue to require face masks “at all times, by all people in school facilities” and remain this way for the rest of the academic year.
Earlier this week, the center said adults vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer have to wear face masks. But the news that students and staff should wear masks adds more confusion as the country continues to struggle moving forward.
According to the New York Post, strict rules requiring mask use and physical distancing should continue to be practiced in schools nationwide “regardless of the level of community transmission” of coronavirus, the CDC urged.
The guidance claimed that the reason for this is that “students will not be fully vaccinated by the end of the 2020-2021 school year,” and school systems will need the time to make “systems and policy adjustments” relating to their mask rules.
There hasn’t been an authorized vaccine for children under 12. However, Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine won approval for 12-to-15-year-olds just days ago — but that’s not enough time before the end of the school year or for full immunity to kick in.
The CDC also stated that mask rules should be followed by school administrators, teachers, and visitors, despite their vaccination status. This helps to “encourage modeling of correct and consistent mask use” for students.
The children do [need masks] when they’re out there playing with their friends, particularly in an indoor situation, they do,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN.