611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

LaFrontera
member support line
1-520-279-5737
M-F 5pm-8pm
24/7 weekends/holidays

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530



SEABHS
611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530


powered by centersite dot net
Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
How Moving the Homeless to Hotels During the Pandemic Helps EveryoneA Vaccine Against UTIs? New Mouse Study Brings Shot CloserOpioid Use (and Overuse) for Knee Arthritis Takes Big Financial TollFormaldehyde in Hair Straighteners Prompts FDA WarningIt's Too Soon to Lift COVID Restrictions: FauciWith 3 COVID Vaccines Approved, Is There a 'Best' Shot?U.S. Hispanics at High Stroke Risk and Many Go Untreated: ReportCOVID Leaves Most Pro Athletes With No Lasting Heart Damage: StudyAmerican Indians Face the Highest Odds for StrokePerils of the Pandemic: Scooters, Cleansers and Button BatteriesModerna COVID Vaccine Can Sometimes Trigger Delayed Skin ReactionsMore Data Suggests New Coronavirus Variants Weaken Vaccines, TreatmentsAdd Sleep Woes to Long-Term Effects of ConcussionsCOVID Death Rates 10 Times Higher in Countries Where Most Are Overweight: ReportCould Taking a Swing at Golf Help Parkinson's Patients?Scientists Discover Why Blood Type May Matter for COVID InfectionNew Coronavirus Variant Out of Brazil Now in 5 U.S. StatesScientists Gain Insight Into Genetics of GlaucomaPatients With Sickle Cell Disease Often Overlooked for Life-Saving Kidney TransplantsDoes an Arthritis Drug Help Patients Battling Severe COVID? It Depends on the StudyNIH Halts Trial of Convalescent Plasma for Mild COVID-19COVID Vaccines for All American Adults by the End of May: BidenWhat You Need to Know About the New J&J COVID VaccineHow Climate Change Could Put More MS Patients in DangerFace Masks Won't Impede Your Breathing, Study ConfirmsSports Position Doesn't Affect Risk of Concussion-Linked CTE IllnessStrep Throat Doesn't Worsen Tourette But May Affect ADHD: StudyFauci Says U.S. Will Stay With Two Doses of Pfizer, Moderna VaccinesAHA News: Finally Getting Around to That Annual Physical? Here's What You Might FindStem Cell Injections Show Early Promise Against Spinal Cord InjuriesStudy Debunks Notion That Statin Meds Trigger Muscle AchesMore Than 87,000 Scientific Papers Already Published on COVID-19Underarm Lump After COVID Shot Is Likely Lymph Swelling, Not Breast Cancer, Experts SayVaccinating Oldest First for COVID Saves the Most Lives: StudyIf Protections Expire, COVID Patients Could Soon Face Big Medical BillsSharp Drop Seen in COVID Testing As New Cases PlateauFDA Approves Third COVID VaccineSpring Allergies Are Near, Here's What Works to Fight ThemRheumatoid Arthritis Meds May Help Fight Severe COVID-19Hair Salon Talk Can Spread COVID, But Face Shields Cut the DangerPandemic Is Hitting Hospitals Hard, Including Their Bottom LineExpert Panel Set to Consider Approval of J&J COVID VaccineIn Israel, Widespread Vaccination Slashes Severe COVID Cases in Older PatientsMental Health 'Epidemic' Threatens Communities of Color Amid COVID-19Masks Vital to Stopping COVID at Gyms, Studies ShowAs Climate Change Lengthens Allergy Season, Pollen Travels FartherVery Low COVID Infection Rate Among Dental Hygienists: StudyPandemic Is Adding to Teachers' Stress, and Quit RatesCOVID Cases, Deaths Plummet in Nursing Homes After Vaccine RolloutAHA News: What's Safe Once You've Had Your COVID-19 Vaccine?
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

U.S. Schools Can Reopen, With Safeguards in Place: CDC

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Feb 12th 2021

new article illustration

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- It may be safe for many of America's kids to head back to classrooms, experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Friday.

According to the agency's new operational guidance, schools can safely reopen if they employ five key "layered mitigation" strategies based on the level of COVID-19 transmission in their communities. Those strategies include steps such as universal mask-wearing and physical distancing .

Each intervention will "provide some level of protection, but when implemented together, or layered, they provide the greatest level of protection," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during an afternoon media briefing.

The CDC recommends that schools adopt universal and correct use of masks as the centerpiece of all reopening strategies, as well as enforcing physical distancing of at least 6 feet, Walensky said.

"These two strategies are incredibly important in areas that have high community spread of COVID-19, which right now is the vast majority of communities in the United States," Walensky said. "We know that most clusters in the school setting have occurred when there are breaches in mask wearing."

The CDC says schools should also promote three other steps to prevent COVID transmission: Frequent hand washing; thorough cleaning and disinfection practices; and rapid contact tracing by local health departments whenever new infections occur.

The new CDC documents provide a color-coded guide for reopening strategies schools should employ, depending on the level of COVID transmission in their community.

"At low levels of community transmission -- levels that currently are only in less than 5% of our nation's counties -- CDC recommends that schools can provide full in-person instruction with universal use of masks and other mitigation strategies," Walensky said. "However, as levels of community transmission rise into high levels, as is currently the case in over 90% of our counties, schools should require physical distancing of at least six feet and reduce sports and other extracurricular activities."

Road map to re-opening

Schools in communities with substantial transmission rates likely will have to operate in a hybrid mode with reduced attendance, while middle and high schools in high transmission areas will need to continue virtual instruction unless they can strictly enforce mitigation strategies and prevent outbreaks, the documents say. Those tougher steps might include weekly coronavirus testing of students and staff to help spot asymptomatic infections.

Walensky stressed that the CDC is not ordering that schools reopen or close based on local conditions.

"These recommendations simply provide schools a long-needed road map for how to do so safely under different levels of disease in the community," Walensky said.

President Joe Biden has set a goal of reopening most K-12 schools during his first 100 days in office, but has stressed that medical science will dictate the means by which schools safely reopen.

School closures prompted by the pandemic have caused students to go hungry, falter in their education and endure social isolation, Donna Harris-Aikens, a senior advisor for policy and planning at the U.S. Department of Education, said during Friday's briefing.

"For these reasons and more, we need to get kids back in the classroom," Harris-Aikens said.

Vaccination, ventilation

Annette Anderson, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, said she is "excited by what I heard today."

"We have felt like schools and districts have been on their own for most of this pandemic," Anderson said. "It has just felt like 14,000 districts coming up with 14,000 different plans."

"Now we are receiving clear signals from the Biden administration that there is a shift, that there is someone who is going to take this on at the federal level," Anderson continued.

The CDC guidance also address staff vaccinations and improved ventilation as two other strategies that can help prevent COVID transmission in schools. Improved ventilation might mean opening school windows and doors when safe and appropriate.

As to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, "our operational strategy specifically has vaccination as an additional layer of protection that can be added to the recommended five key mitigation strategies," Walensky said.

But evidence has led the CDC to conclude that vaccination is not essential to school reopening, if the other strategies are pursued. That assertion has met with considerable pushback from teacher's unions across the country, however.

"It's one of those layers of mitigation we believe will help, but we believe and the science has demonstrated that schools can be reopened safely prior to all teachers being vaccinated," Walensky said.

The science has shown that most transmission at school occurs from staff-to-staff, she said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have more about school reopening strategy.


SOURCES: Feb. 12, 2021, media briefing with: Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Annette Anderson, PhD, deputy director, Johns Hopkins Center for Safe and Healthy Schools; Donna Harris-Aikens, JD, senior advisor, policy and planning, U.S. Department of Education