CDC expected to relax COVID guidelines as kids head back to school

It is expected to be exempt from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19 Recommendations in the coming days, starting with schools, as students go back to class.

CBS News obtained a copy of the CDC draft document that outlined the rationale for the change. While not yet final, the changes could include an emphasis on a “test to stay” strategy, in which students exposed to COVID-19 take regular tests to stay in the classroom. Schools will also be free to open with strict social distancing measures, which is already in place under CDC guidance. effectively phased out,

Revisions are also expected to be published soon to simplify and streamline CDC’s broad swath of other setting-specific guidance, including high-risk collective settings such as travel, health care settings and nursing homes.

How the planned change could affect the agency’s guidance to schools was first reported by CNN.

Infectious disease specialist Michael Osterholm told CBS News: “This virus will be with us for days to come and we will have to learn to live with it.”

Michael Cornell, the superintendent of the Hamburg Central School District in western New York, said his students needed to get back to normal.

“If the CDC is going to say we should go back to school relatively normally with minimal restrictions, count me,” Cornell told CBS News. “We have to focus on making sure our kids experience joy, value and connection in school, because all those things were taken away from them for two and a half years.”

The proposed changes are raising some concerns, as less than half of school children are fully vaccinated, and most Americans are living in communities with high rates of COVID-19.

Among other proposed changes to the draft document are that those exposed to COVID-19 who have not been fully vaccinated will no longer be required to wear masks for 10 days and be tested five days after exposure. In the draft, the CDC notes a large percentage of the population with COVID-19 antibodies, as well as the desire to limit the social and economic impacts, as the rationale behind removing the quarantine recommendations.

In addition, the CDC will no longer require contact tracing following known exposures, except in health care or high-risk collective settings, such as long-term care facilities and homeless shelters, the draft says.

Meanwhile, Osterholm said the virus was still evolving.

“As this virus changes over time, we may revise these guidelines again,” he said.

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