CDC releases new guidelines in favor of reopening schools

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ATLANTA (WPRI) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a series of new guidelines on Thursday night heavily in favor of sending kids back to the classroom.

The agency cited evidence suggesting the virus isn’t as serious for children and that kids aren’t as likely to spread it as adults are.

The CDC underscored the harm that can be done by keeping kids out of school, including learning loss and less access to food, mental health services, and more.

However, the guidelines do encourage school administrators to follow what’s happening in their community, such as if there’s a sudden surge in cases they recommend adjustments. Emphasizing that they want schools to have a go to procedure for when a student or teacher tests positive.

President Donald Trump said that there is no other option, he wants to see kids in the classroom.

“I hope that local leaders put the full health and well being of their students first and make the right decisions for children, parents, teachers and not make political decisions,” President Trump said. “This is not about politics. This is about something very, very important.”

The president did acknowledge that making the necessary changes could be expensive. On Thursday, he announced his desire to see more funds for schools. It will likely be in the next stimulus bill.

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo says the state is not ready to make a decision on schools. She says they are still ironing out the details of three potential plans.

“We have a lot of work ahead, but we will do it,” Raimondo said.

In Masssachusetts, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released new guidelines that lay out stricter cleaning standards, staggered recess times and longer transitions between classes. For busing, new rules allow for one student per bench, with masks required. Schools are also being encouraged to consider outdoor spaces for learning.

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