CDC: Students do not need masks in class if fully vaccinated

Fully vaccinated students do not need to wear masks in classrooms this fall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

The guidance, which goes beyond mask-wearing, is aimed at kindergartners through high school seniors, and is meant “to help keep kids in classrooms, as well as participating in any sports or extracurricular activities,” said Erin Sauber-Schatz, who heads the CDC’s Community Interventions and Critical Populations Task Force.

“Safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority,” the CDC’s guidance says, and encourages a return to the classroom even if not all prevention measures can be taken.

For example, the CDC guidance suggests students keep a physical distance of three feet from one another while in the classroom. But Sauber-Schatz said that if doing so is not possible, “that shouldn’t keep any kids out of the classroom.”

For fully vaccinated students and teachers, the change in guidance mirrors the CDC’s previous guidance for fully vaccinated adults: no masks needed when indoors.

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