The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) late Thursday released new guidelines with a heavy focus on reopening schools in the fall, saying children are less likely to experience severe symptoms or spread the virus in schools.
Under the new guidelines, the CDC recommends that schools follow a certain level of precautions based on the amount of community transmission in their area. The CDC advises that unless there is substantial, uncontrolled community transmission in an area, schools should reopen to some extent.
“It is critically important for our public health to open schools this fall,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a statement announcing the guidelines. “School closures have disrupted normal ways of life for children and parents, and they have had negative health consequences on our youth. CDC is prepared to work with K-12 schools to safely reopen while protecting the most vulnerable.”
The CDC’s recommendations include socially distancing school children through cohorting or pods as well as a number of other measures to limit possible transmission of the coronavirus.
According to the CDC, there are few reports of children being the driving force of transmission within families. It said that as of July 17, children and adolescents account for under 7 percent of COVID-19 cases and less than 0.1 percent of COVID-19-related deaths.
“The best available evidence indicates that COVID-19 poses relatively low risks to school-aged children,” the guidelines read.