CDC Offer 5 Key COVID-19 Plans For Schools

Becker’s Hospitals Review, a major medical research source and critical screening house for COVID-19 data interpretation has recently reviewed new CDC data on COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

In a new article, titled “CDC releases school reopening guidelines, 5 key COVID-19 mitigation strategies”, Becker’s author Gabrielle Masson reviews plans for schools now that the CDC has given advice for re-openings.

There are three rules for safe openings, which she describes as “consistent implementation of layered mitigation strategies, indicators of community transmission, and phased mitigation and learning modes.” The first of these addresses the fact that scientists already have several means to measure future risk. Among them are hygiene, face covering, and social distancing. Indicators of community transmission range from infection rates to hospitalizations. Learning modes deal with whether classrooms are in person, or handled remotely.

Masson’s next point is the school openings need to be done in the context of the wider population. Some groups which include people of color and poor communities suffer more from the spread of COVID-19 than others. These factors need to be taken into account as plans are made to reopen schools.

Next is the decision of each community to put testing of teachers and students high on their lists of those who are tracked and tested. Otherwise, transmission can begin dangerously and detection of such a problem could happen later than necessary. This is a public policy decision.

Following that, among the essentials for school reopening is whether proven tactics that lower the risk of spread are used within the schools themselves. Each of these is already well known to the public. They include the use of masks based on guidelines which currently include double masking when possible, six feet of physical distancing, hand-washing, and proper methods to offset spread via covering sneezing and coughing, the cleaning of school facilities, contact tracing, and isolation or quarantine when necessary. To be done best, these need to be done in connection with local healthcare officials.

Finally, schools need to be vigilant about the fact that the CDC, and other authorities, update guidelines. The best evidence of that is it was just done again for schools.

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