Students at a high school in Los Angeles (California, USA) wear masks in the classroom – New York Times screenshot
The US CDC summarizes the new guidance in 3 words “Test to Stay”. Accordingly, students who are in close contact with people with COVID-19 will be able to go to school and attend regular classes even if they have not been vaccinated.
The only condition is that they must have continuous negative results in the days following exposure.
According to the newspaper New York Times, many schools in some school districts in the US adopted this approach before the CDC’s December 17 recommendation. Some schools choose to test twice a week, some places test 4 times in the first week after exposure.
The CDC was initially reluctant, citing a lack of scientific evidence. After reviewing data from schools, CDC agrees “Test to Stay” really works, significantly reduce the inconvenience for students and parents.
According to the previous regulations, students who have not been vaccinated will have to stay home from school for 14 days if they are in close contact with the disease.
Students who have been vaccinated and have no symptoms of COVID-19 continue to attend school, but must wear masks and keep their distance.
The CDC recommends that people who have been vaccinated still get tested 5 to 7 days after being in close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
CDC Director, Ms. Rochelle P. Walensky, calls “Test to Stay” a new and promising practice because it has been proven in practice. However, because it has only been tested in a school setting, the CDC recommends that other areas with “Test to Stay” intentions wait for new guidance.
Some American studies show that the risk of infection in schools is relatively low due to the application of many COVID-19 prevention measures such as masks and improved ventilation systems.
Newspaper New York Times question the “currentity” of the CDC study because they were conducted before the Omicron variant became a concern in the US and many other countries.
While the majority of American parents urged administrators to apply “Test to Stay”, a small number of other parents with children in a vulnerable group if sick felt worried.
Follow New York Times, if applied, this approach will also put pressure on doctors and nurses in schools, so it is necessary to prepare well in terms of personnel before doing so.