CDC releases new guidance for students to resume in-person learning

Hampden County

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Centers for Disease Control now says students can resume in-person learning safely with masks and social distancing. But, falls short of insisting that teachers be vaccinated. 

The CDC said while not a key point, it is still very important for teachers to be vaccinated. Something teachers’ unions have been echoing since the start. The CDC recommended measures for students to return to the classroom aren’t much different than Massachusetts’ guidance. 

The 5 key mitigation strategies are as follows: 

  • Universal proper mask-wearing 
  • Physical distancing  

The CDC says these two are the most crucial in stopping in-school transmission: 

  • Hand washing 
  • Cleaning facilities and improving ventilation 
  • Contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine 

The CDC added that vaccines and testing are not among key strategies to re-open schools, but it’s strongly encouraged that school staff be vaccinated as soon as possible.  

Massachusetts educators feel vaccinating teachers should be in them. 

“This reinforces their earlier guidance that educators and staff need to be vaccinated as soon as possible and that’s just not happening here in Massachusetts,” said Merrie Najimy, president of the MTA. 

Right now, early education through 12 grade teachers and staff are set to be vaccinated in Step 3 of the current phase, after that, 65 and older or those with two preexisting conditions.  

The MTA is submitting a vaccination plan for school staff to the governor.  

The plan calls for them to be vaccinated by firefighters and EMT’s in their own communities to help speed up the vaccination process. 

To be clear, the CDC guidance is not mandating that schools re-open. and they are also not calling for the re-opening of schools. 

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