FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states schools are safe during the COVID-19 pandemic if certain precautions are followed exactly.
Since the pandemic began in 2020, school officials, elected officials and parents have wrestled with how to keep campuses safe, and the CDC said the schools can remain open with some caveats.
“We do not see in our schools a significant increase of the spread of the coronavirus because we maintain the appropriate precautions,” Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said.
A newly released study finds “there has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.” The study comes as the U.S. struggles to find the right balance between keeping infection numbers down, returning to traditional learning or sticking with online instruction.
“I got people still calling me — ‘Stage four cancer,’ ‘I have one kidney,’ ‘I’ve got Type 2 diabetes,’” Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco said.
The study was released as an arbitrator ruled that Broward County Public Schools may require teachers return to the classroom to meet operational needs.
“We recognize the health concerns of our teachers, and we will continue to balance their needs,” BCPS Superintendent Robert Runcie said.
According to the CDC, schools should:
- Require universal face mask use.
- Increase physical distance by dedensifying classrooms and common areas.
- Use hybrid attendance models when needed to limit the total number of contacts.
- Increase room air ventilation.
- Expand screening testing to rapidly identify and isolate asymptomatic infected individuals.
However, the study stresses there are still risks associated with attending school on campus.
For example, “indoor practice or competition and school-related social gatherings … could jeopardize the safe operation of in-person education.”
“The best way of actually reducing community spread and maintaining schools open is by ensuring that the community itself follows the appropriate precautions and follows the right steps,” Carvalho said.
The CDC recommends to limit the spread of COVID-19 in schools, the community must follow the guidelines outside of the classroom, including at social functions, bars and restaurants.
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