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Health News Florida
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Vaccinated Teachers And Students Don't Need Masks, CDC Says

empty classroom desks.jpeg
AP

The guidance generally leaves it to local officials to figure out how to ensure the unvaccinated are using precautions while letting those who are fully protected go mask-free.

Vaccinated teachers and students don’t need to wear masks inside school buildings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday in relaxing its COVID-19 guidelines.

However, the CDC said schools should continue to space students and desks 3 feet apart, but added that spacing should not be an obstacle to getting children back in schools. It also said distancing is not required among fully vaccinated students or staff.

The latest revisions to school guidance come after a growing national vaccination campaign in which children as young as 12 are eligible to get shots, as well as a general decline in recent months in COVID hospitalizations and deaths.

The guidance generally leaves it to local officials to figure out how to ensure the unvaccinated are using precautions while letting those who are fully protected go mask-free.

The biggest questions will be at middle schools, where some students are eligible for shots and others aren’t.

Other points of the new CDC guidance:

  • No one at schools needs to wear masks at recess or in most other outdoor situations. However, unvaccinated people are advised to wear masks if they are in a crowd for an extended period of time, like in the stands at a football game.
  • Ventilation and handwashing continue to be important. Students and staff also should stay home when they are sick.
  • COVID testing remains an important way to prevent outbreaks. But the CDC also says people who are fully vaccinated do not need to participate in such screening.
  • Separating students into smaller groups, or cohorts, continues to be a good way to help reduce spread of the virus. But the CDC discouraged putting vaccinated and unvaccinated kids in separate groups, saying schools shouldn’t stigmatize any group or perpetuate academic, racial or other tracking.