“I think it’s time for schools to reopen safely,” President Joe Biden said during an interview with CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell on Sunday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could lay out specifications for schools to reopen possibly Wednesday.
“You have to have fewer people in the classroom; you have to have ventilation systems that have been reworked,” said Biden. “Our CDC commissioner is going to be coming out with science-based judgment within, I think, as early as Wednesday, as to what the minimum requirements are.”
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters on Feb. 3 during a White House news briefing that teachers “do not need to get vaccinated against Covid-19 before schools can safely reopen.
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“There are several mitigating factors that we’ve seen in data to date that will help make it safe,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during the White House briefing.
“Of course, vaccines are part of that,” she added, “but so is masking, so is social distancing, so is ensuring that schools have the ventilation and the facilities that they need in order to do it safely.”
Teachers’ unions and many educators across the nation are pushing back on the idea. However, it will be up to governors to reopen schools.
The Biden administration promised to resume most K-12 schools within the first 100 days in office.
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Update: The CDC plans to issue new guidelines for schools reopening on Friday, White House coronavirus adviser Andy Slavitt said.