CDC Revises Guidance For K-12 Schools – Masks For All Recommended

Image of Asian mother help her daughter wearing medical mask to prepare go to school. Avoiding Covid-19 or coronavirus outbreak.

CDC Revises Guidance For K-12 Schools – Masks For All Recommended

Jul 28, 2021

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its July 9, 2021, guidance for K-12 schools. Citing new evidence concerning the Delta variant of Covid-19, the CDC now recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Per the CDC, students should still return for full in-person learning this fall with layered Covid-19 prevention strategies in place.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) fully adopted this update from the CDC. In a public statement, the IDPH stated, “[W]e join CDC in recommending everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors in areas of substantial and high transmissions, and in K-12 schools.” Notably, the recommendation for universal masking in schools is not dependent on whether there are substantial or high transmission rates in the school’s community.

While not a mandate, school districts should consult with their local health departments and undertake a multi-factor analysis before deviating from the CDC’s recommendations. Factors to consider include levels of community transmission, local vaccine coverage, and the use of screening testing to detect Covid-19 cases in schools. Both the CDC and IDPH emphasize the importance of full, in-person learning, and decisions should be guided by how best to maintain full participation by all students.

Robbins Schwartz will be hosting a Webinar on Friday, July 30, 2021, from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. to address questions arising as a result of this updated CDC guidance. Look on our events page for registration information!