BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered up new guidelines Friday about reopening schools. The CDC’s and the State Department of Education’s main goal is to get students back into the classroom.
The report released by the CDC for parents and schools say it’s far better for students to be in school for classroom education than remote learning. “Children are adversely affected when they stay home because the are not getting the services they would need in a full time school setting,” Mitchell Zais, Deputy Sec. of the US Department of Education said.
The report says this includes meals, physical education and continued learning. The CDC says the student are less at risk of getting and spreading the disease,“Children are less likely to get COVID-19 than adults. When children do get COVID-19 they get less serious illness,” Erin Sauber-Schatz, CDC Task Force for the COVID-19 Response said.
The death rate for young people under the age of 18 is small. The report does not recommend universal testing by schools for students but does recommend parents check them out for temperature or illness. The schools should work to encourage social distancing and masks.
CDC officials and a top education leaders both said getting kids back in school is better for them because there is a low risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, but they admit there are areas of the country that may not be that easy, including Alabama.
“Opening a school is not a simple decision. There is both benefits and risks for student, teachers, staff and for communities that must be weighed,” Sauber-Schatz said.
The key to opening schools depends on the rate of people who have been tested to be positive with COVID-19. Areas with low rates below 5% its okay but higher hotspots like many areas in Alabama, with 14%, virtual learning can be considered. Many schools systems in Alabama are opting to go that route at least at the beginning of school.