The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended Tuesday that all students in kindergarten through 12th grade should wear masks on returning to classrooms for the new school year, according to NBC News.
The new CDC recommendation also includes youngsters who have already been vaccinated.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky urged all schools to reopen in-person learning in the fall. However, she has advised taking proper safety protocols, which now include masks as well.
She told Reporters, “CDC recommends that everyone in K-12 schools wear a mask indoors, including teachers, staff, students, and visitors regardless of vaccination status.”
President Joe Biden said he understands the masking recommendation will be a disappointment to many children, parents, teachers, and school staff, according to TODAY.
He said in a statement, “Today, the CDC also reaffirmed that we can safely reopen schools this fall — full time. Masking students is inconvenient, I know, but will allow them to learn and be with their classmates with the best available protection.”
Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics also advised children aged 2 and above to wear masks when they go back to school.
In the United States, children aged 12 and above are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Dr. Walensky also confirmed reports that the Biden administration is now recommending mask-wearing in indoor settings for anyone who is in areas of high transmission.
However, she acknowledged that millions of Americans who believe that the pandemic is over would not accept the new CDC recommendation.
The CDC directors said, “Not only are people tired, they’re frustrated. This was not something that we took lightly and something that I know weighs heavily with me and with all America.”
Meanwhile, officials have been urging young people to get vaccinated due to the Delta variant, which was first identified in India and is highly contagious.
The officials have expressed concerns over a surge in new Delta variant cases, stating that unvaccinated people are contributing to the surge.
The CDC said Tuesday that more than 163 million Americans have been fully vaccinated.
Dr. Walensky said, “We’re encouraging really any activities that would motivate further vaccination. Not all communities are going to be responsive to a mandate in the same way.”
Bien said more vaccination is the only way to vanquish the virus and take off their masks for the last time.
He said, “Most importantly, today’s announcement also makes clear that the most important protection we have against the Delta variant is to get vaccinated.”
“Although most U.S. adults are vaccinated, too many are not,” he added. “While we have seen an increase in vaccinations in recent days, we still need to do better.” The story appeared on NBC News and TODAY.