Keeping Kids Safe: When schools start, will kids without vaccinations be required to wear masks?

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(WYTV) – School will be back in session before we know it, and it looks like most districts will be offering in-person learning.

What we don’t know yet: What will those classes look like?

Will students, especially those not old enough to receive a vaccination, be required to wear masks and socially distance themselves from those around them?

Last week, the CDC issued new guidelines saying students, teachers and staff who are fully vaccinated won’t need to wear a mask, but children who are between the ages of two and 12 and aren’t vaccinated should still mask up.

But that raises even more questions.

According to the CDC, only five percent of kids ages 12 to 15 are fully vaccinated, and 2.5% of 16 and 17-year-olds had their second shots.

“We’re really focused on getting kids back in the classroom in fall; however, if you’re not able to do distancing, we really recommend that all the other layered prevention strategies are kept in place. The science has shown us that we know what works to help keep schools safe and open for the coming school year,” said Erin Sauber-Schatz from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I think it’s still a question that needs answered. I mean, I know there’s lot of people asking that question as for what the school year looks like as far as masking and other changes that we’ve seen in the school year last year versus previous years,” said Dr. James Kravec of Mercy Health.

As for schools, the CDC guidelines are just recommendations. It would ultimately be up to school districts to make their own rules and decide whether to require proof of vaccination.

Although the FDA has still not given its emergency use authorization for children under the age of 12, Kravec is urging other kids and their teachers and staff to get vaccinated to help stop potential flare-ups once the school year starts.

For more information on the CDC’s recommendations for preventing COVID in schools, visit the CDC website.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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