The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to ease itsAdvice for the next few days, starting at school as students return to the classroom.
CBS News obtained a copy of a draft CDC document outlining the rationale for the change. While not finalized, the changes could include de-emphasizing a “test-and-stay” strategy, where students exposed to COVID-19 are regularly tested to remain in class.Schools are also free to relax strict social distancing measures, which CDC guidance has already done Effective elimination.
Revisions to simplify and streamline CDC guidance for other specific settings are also expected soon, including travel, healthcare settings, and high-risk gathering settings, such as nursing homes.
CNN first reported news of how the planned shift could affect the agency’s school guidance.
“This virus is going to be with us for days to come, and we have to learn to live with it,” infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm told CBS News.
Michael Cornell, superintendent of the Hamburg Central School District in Western New York, said his students need to get back to normal.
“If the CDC is going to say we should go back to school relatively normally, with minimal restrictions, count me in,” Cornell told CBS News. “We have to focus on making sure our kids experience joy in school. , value and connection, because those things have been taken away by them for two and a half years.”
The proposed changes raise some concerns because less than half of school-age children are fully vaccinated and the majority of Americans live in communities with a high incidence of COVID-19.
One of the other proposed changes in the draft document is that those who had been exposed to COVID-19 and were not fully vaccinated would no longer be required to quarantine, but would instead be required to wear a mask for 10 days and be tested five days after exposure. In the draft, the CDC noted that a large percentage of the population has COVID-19 antibodies, as well as a desire to limit social and economic impact, as reasons for its lifting of the quarantine recommendation.
In addition, the draft states that the CDC will no longer require contact tracing after known exposure, except in healthcare or high-risk gathering settings, such as long-term care facilities and homeless shelters.
Meanwhile, Osterholm said the virus is constantly evolving.
“As this virus evolves over time, we may revise these guidelines again,” he said.