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CDC updates school safety guidelines, strongly advocates renewal of university campuses in autumn




The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have updated their school safety guidelines for personal instruction, in which teachers ’unions call change a political step led by the Trump administration and ultimately life-threatening.

The new guidelines highlight face-to-face training in communities that are not considered COVID-19 coffins, which CDC Director Robert Redfield described in a teleconference on Friday as areas where the COVID-19 test has a positive percentage of more than five percent. The current level of positivity in Texas ranges at about 13 percent.


“Opening schools this fall is critical to our public health,” Redfield said. “I know this has been a difficult time for the families of our nation. School closures have disrupted the normal lifestyles of children and parents and have had a negative impact on our youth. The CDC is ready to work with K-12 schools to keep them safe. Reopen and protect the most vulnerable persons. “



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The new guidelines cancel several of the organization’s previous recommendations and include not checking all students for symptoms, rather than closing entire schools if a one-person test is positive, and offering more advice on how to use face masks in the classroom. The guidelines also provide new information on decision-making tools and checklists for parents and FAQ administrators.


CDC officials and U.S. Department of Education officials said the guidelines take into account the risk of the virus to children and evidence that learning at home can be detrimental to children’s education and their mental and emotional well-being. According to the CDC, COVID-19 poses a “relatively low risk” to school-age children compared to adults. From July 17. Children under the age of 18 account for less than seven percent of COVID-19 cases and less than 1.1 percent of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States.


“Research and science continue to show that it is safer, healthier and better for students to be at school all day,” said Dr. Undersecretary of Education during a briefing on Friday. Mitchell Zais. “Too many public schools have already missed their students last spring. It can’t happen again this fall.”


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The desire for “personal instructions” comes after President Donald Trump publicly criticized earlier CDC recommendations earlier this month, calling them “strict and costly guidelines” that “ask schools to take very impractical action.”

The Texas ATF, the state branch of the American Federation of Teachers, responded to the new guidelines by calling them a “public relations hotspot for as many children as possible to return to class as soon as possible,” and said the CDC was “building on its efforts.” to the White House agenda and questionable statements about how children pose as little risk as possible, both to themselves and to their teachers and families. ”

“It’s amazing whether or not the CDC can move from an internal document in two weeks, noting the high risk of school renovations, to now saying it’s perfectly safe to push millions of children back into audiences,” Texas AFT President Zeph Capo said in a press release. “These guidelines have been passed on to White House gift wrapping and are now an offensive, politically packaged part of the campaign.”

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Teachers’ Federation, said in response to the guidelines that the CDC had changed its tone to “accommodate President Trump’s whims,” ​​adding that schools could not open safely until the virus was over.

“The CDC could certainly help parents and educators by releasing a clear set of protocols and facilitating navigation, rather than offering endless checklists that send people to look for answers,” Weingarten said in a statement.

As the Texas Education Agency extended the transition period for schools ranging from three weeks to eight weeks from the start of the year, several Houston District districts chose the beginning of the year in effect, including Houston ISD, Texas ’largest school district. After a short time, the IEA extended its schedule, with Harris County and Houston County Health Authorities obliging all county schools to defer personal instruction for the first eight weeks of the 2020-21 school year.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday issued a statement in which local health authorities announced that schools would not issue broad school closure orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“While local health authorities may have some authority to close schools in limited circumstances, they may not issue general instructions that all schools be closed on a purely preventive basis,” Paxton said in a statement. “This decision legitimately remains with school system leaders.”

Between Sunday and Monday, 1,571 new cases of COVID-19 occurred in the Houston area and there are now 94,438 cases. There were an increase of 846 new cases in Harris County and a total of 66,195 cases. According to an analysis of data from the Houston Chronicle, Texas added 4,331 new cases in the same one-day period, and there are now 395,338 new cases.

rebecca.hennes@chron.com




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