CDC: Students, Teachers No Longer Need Masks

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Vaccinated students and teachers no longer need to wear masks to school, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday, as it continues to relax COVID-19 restrictions.

The CDC also insisted it is not advising schools to require shots for teachers or eligible students. “And it’s not offering guidance on how teachers can know which students are vaccinated or how parents will know which teachers are immunized,” The Associated Press reported.

Along with jettisoning mask requirements, the CDC said students’ desks no longer need to be spaced three feet apart, provided students are vaccinated. But again, it’s unlikely that students or teachers will need to show proof of vaccination.

Or is it?

“It would be a very weird dynamic, socially, to have some kids wearing masks and some not. And tracking that? Teachers shouldn’t need to be keeping track of which kids should have masks on,” John Hopkins University public health professor Elizabeth Stuart told the AP.

Overall though, the new guidelines are encouraging schools to exercise flexibility and start allowing teachers and students to return to normal, removing masks and doing away with social distancing, as positive coronavirus cases continue to decline.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,


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  1. This reporting is just wrong. The three feet recommendation stays even though not backed by any science. And since no one under 12 will be vaccinated, it means 100% masks for everyone except, perhaps, some high school students in red states. Not any kind of forward leap at all.

    In a press release on Friday the CDC shared the following:

    Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority.

    Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.

    Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

    CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, combined with indoor mask wearing by people who are not fully vaccinated, to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully re-open while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as indoor masking.

    Screening testing, ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are also important layers of prevention to keep schools safe.

    Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.

    Many schools serve children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for vaccination at this time. Therefore, this guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies (e.g., using multiple prevention strategies together consistently) to protect people who are not fully vaccinated, including students, teachers, staff, and other members of their households.

    COVID-19 prevention strategies remain critical to protect people, including students, teachers, and staff, who are not fully vaccinated, especially in areas of moderate-to-high community transmission levels.

    Localities should monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and occurrence of outbreaks to guide decisions on the level of layered prevention strategies (e.g., physical distancing, screening testing)

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