The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging schools to resume in-person learning, suggesting vaccinated students and teachers do not need to wear masks.
Updated guidelines read, “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.” The CDC suggests implementing screening testing, increased classroom ventilation, and contact tracing.
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However, not all school districts have the appropriate budget for these measures, or space to socially distance students. Public schools are required to follow county restrictions, even if they contradict CDC guidelines. States, including California, have previously ignored CDC recommendations and implemented contrary COVID-19 restrictions.
Online learning during the lockdowns led to an increase in weight gain and mental illness in students. The Intercultural Development Research Association reports, “Two out of five young adults 18- to 24-years-old report having at least one ‘adverse mental or behavioral health condition.’” The association “surveyed high school upperclassmen and university undergraduate lowerclassmen finding that 75% of respondents report having struggled with mental health issues during the pandemic.”