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CDC advises schools to continue having students wear masks for rest of school year

AP Poll Virus Outbreak Schools
Posted at 1:26 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 13:30:08-04

Though fully vaccinated Americans can forgo masks indoors in most situations now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still recommending that schools use the current COVID-19 prevention strategies for the remainder of the school year.

That includes using face coverings and practicing social distancing in school environments because most students aren’t fully vaccinated against the coronavirus yet.

As of May 12, children 12 years old and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

“Because people are not fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, students in this age group will not be fully vaccinated before the end of (the) current school year,” wrote the CDC in a clarification released Saturday.

And kids under 12 still can’t receive a vaccination.

The CDC says time is also needed for schools to make systems and policy adjustments to change mask requirements for students and staff, while continuing to ensure the safety of the unvaccinated populations.

The CDC says it will update its guidance for schools in the coming weeks, which can inform school planning for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year.

The White House has set a goal of administering at least one vaccine shot to 70% of U.S. adults by July 4. As of Monday morning, nearly 60% of adults in the country had received at least one dose and more than 47% were fully vaccinated, according to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering