A general overview of the campus of Edward R. Roybal's disease control and prevention centers in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 23, 2020.
Tami Chappell | AFP | Getty Images
With some school districts just a few weeks before the school year begins, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published long-awaited guidelines for reopening, with a focus on getting students back to class.
The guidelines outlined the social, emotional, and mental risks involved in keeping students at home, and provided comprehensive outlines for resuming personal instruction in line with what the CDC has already recommended to other companies , such as B. Good hygiene, regular disinfection of surfaces and distance between students to maintain social distance.
Other recommendations included converting unused or underused buildings or moving classes outside, if possible, and storing students in "pods" where the same groups stayed together throughout the school day. Schools were also encouraged to have a plan of what to do if someone got sick. The guidelines state that the entire school does not have to be closed if a single person is tested positive.
Some of the country's largest school districts have already announced that they won't be bringing students back to class in the fall and will instead do all distance learning. When Trump announced the publication of the guidelines on Thursday, he suggested that the districts' decision not to resume personal learning was politically motivated and again threatened to raise federal funds for schools that did not open their doors.
"I hope that local leaders focus on the full health and well-being of their students and make the right decision for parents and teachers and not make political decisions. It's about something very, very important," said Trump.
He said funds for non-reopening schools should be directed to parents, who could then choose to send their child to a private or charter school.
Schools are already struggling to find the resources needed to meet the additional needs of the coronavirus pandemic, such as: These include hand disinfectants, additional buses to facilitate social distance, and several materials so students don't have to share them.
"When the school is closed, the money should follow the student so that parents and families have control over their own decisions," Trump said. "So I want the money to go to the student's parents."
The White House emphasized that the guidelines are only a recommendation and do not replace state and local decisions. Interim guidelines for the reopening of schools have been available on the agency's website since mid-May.
In line with Trump's efforts to open school until fall, the CDC's guidelines put a strong focus on the need for personal learning and outlined the social, emotional, and physical stress on students when they are not in the classroom.
However, it was also emphasized that returning students to class poses a physical risk. The guidelines indicated that some children have an increased risk of serious illness from the virus, such as: B. in children with developmental disorders, an underlying disease, certain neurological diseases or a congenital heart disease.
"Parents, legal guardians, and caregivers should weigh the relative health risks of COVID-19 transmission through face-to-face instruction against the educational, social, and emotional risk of not giving face-to-face instruction when choosing between these two options." The guidelines also said, "If you, your child, or a household member are at increased risk of serious illnesses from COVID-19, you need to weigh the benefits, risks, and feasibility of the educational options available."