CDC issues Coronavirus Guidelines to support the opening of schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraged U.S. schools to reopen for in-person learning this fall.

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With death rates among school-aged children are much lower than among adults, the health agency, under pressure from the White House, has issued a list of recommendations needed to help children returning to schools this fall.

The new guidelines posted Thursday do recommend that local officials should consider closing schools, or keeping them closed, if there is substantial, uncontrolled transmission of the virus.

The new guidelines arrived the same day the U.S. surpassed 4 million coronavirus cases.

CDC Director Robert Redfield tweeted about the new policy, telling parents that “school closures have disrupted normal ways of life for you and your children and they have had negative health consequences on our youth.”

The latest data on the CDC website shows that while children between the ages of 5 and 17 are less likely to die from coronavirus, infections in that age group make up roughly 5.3% of all coronavirus cases in the U.S. Black, Hispanic and Latino children make up nearly 72% of cases in that age group.

Parents are encouraged to monitor children for symptoms, the CDC said, and it’s not recommending that schools conduct universal symptom checks.

The CDC ultimately suggested that if schools remain closed, the risks for students contracting and spreading coronavirus are low, while the risks for students suffering academically and health-wise are high. It noted that schools offer vital resources, including food programs, special education services, counseling, and after-school programs to students. Many of these programs primarily aid low-income, minority or disabled students.

“The harms attributed to closed schools on the social, emotional, and behavioral health, economic well-being, and academic achievement of children, in both the short- and long-term, are well-known and significant,” the CDC said. “Aside from a child’s home, no other setting has more influence on a child’s health and well-being than their school.”

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