New CDC guidelines for schools aim for normality
The agency also dropped its guidelines that unvaccinated people or those who are not up to date on their vaccines are quarantined after exposure and said schools should take the same approach for students.
Exposed students, as well as unvaccinated people who come into contact with someone with Covid-19, must be tested after five days and wear a mask for 10 days. The CDC now only recommends quarantine for anyone who tests positive for Covid-19, suggesting they stay home for at least five days.
The agency’s general masking guidelines for schools remain unchanged, recommending masking in medium-level community risk areas only for immunocompromised or high-risk individuals or those with high-risk close contacts, and recommending that everyone 2 years and older wear one indoors in areas of high community risk.
“We know Covid-19 is here to stay,” Greta Massetti, author of the CDC report that outlines the new guidelines, said during a Thursday briefing. “Currently, the high levels of population immunity due to vaccination and previous infection and the many tools we have to protect people from serious illness and death have put us in a different space.”
The new guidelines also say testing efforts for the virus in most community settings should include testing both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
About 95% of the U.S. population now has antibodies from a previous infection or vaccination, Massetti said, offering protection against serious disease: “So it really makes more sense not to tell the difference with our advice or our recommendations based on vaccination status at this time.”