The CDC issued new guidance for schools Friday in advance of the upcoming school year, hoping to instill some sense of normalcy after school reopenings became a political flashpoint. Schools should fully reopen in the fall, the guidance says, and make decisions on COVID-19 precautions—including masks and physical distancing—based on local conditions. The CDC said vaccinated teachers and students don’t need to wear masks at school. The change in guidance follows a school year pummeled by the pandemic, leading to decreases in student performance and struggles with mental health. Some lawmakers had urged the government to allow schools to reopen, citing low positivity rates among children.
Children 12 and up are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, with Moderna waiting for approval from the FDA. Both companies are set to release trial results for children 5 to 11 in the fall.