CDC: Strong evidence in-person schooling can be done safely

Cdc To Release New Guidance Telling Schools How To Reopen
Ted S. Warren

FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2021, file photo, students wear masks as they work in a fourth-grade classroom, at Elk Ridge Elementary School in Buckley, Wash. Amid mounting tensions about school reopening, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention planned to release long-awaited guidance Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, on what measures are needed to get children back into the classroom during the pandemic.

The nation’s top public health agency on Friday provided a roadmap for reopening schools in the middle of a pandemic, emphasizing mask wearing and social distancing and saying vaccination of teachers is important but not a prerequisite for reopening.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the long-awaited update, but it cannot force schools to reopen, and agency officials were careful to say they are not calling for a mandate that all U.S. schools be reopened.

They said there is strong evidence now that in-person schooling can be done safely, especially at lower grade levels, and the guidance is targeted at schools that teach kindergarten up to 12th grade.

The agency also emphasized hand washing, disinfection of school facilities, diagnostic testing and contact tracing to find new infections and separate infected people from others in a school. Read more about it here:

In other developments:

  • President Joe Biden met with a bipartisan group of governors and mayors at the White House on Friday as part of his push to give financial relief from the coronavirus pandemic to state and local governments — a clear source of division with Republican lawmakers who view the spending as wasteful.

  • The head of the World Health Organization says the drop in confirmed coronavirus cases around the world is encouraging. However, he cautioned against relaxing restrictions that have helped curb the spread of the coronavirus.

  • In a stark sign of the economic inequality that has marked the pandemic recession and recovery, Americans as a whole are now earning the same amount in wages and salaries that they did before the virus struck — even with nearly 9 million fewer people working.

  • Leaders of several major U.S. airlines met online Friday with White House officials to press their case against requiring coronavirus tests for passengers on domestic flights, saying it would undermine the already fragile industry.

  • The toll of the coronavirus is reshaping Las Vegas almost a year after the pandemic took hold. The tourist destination is a much quieter place these days. Nevada had its deadliest virus month ever after New Year’s revelers crowded on the Las Vegas Strip.

  • The final weekend of Mardi Gras season in New Orleans has begun with a warning from police that crowds won’t be tolerated as the city fights to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Bars throughout the city were being ordered to close through Fat Tuesday.

For more summaries and full reports, select from the articles below. Scroll further for the latest virus numbers.

Virus by the numbers