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CDC mandates school mask guidelines remain in effect for rest of year

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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated last week that fully vaccinated Americans may enjoy certain indoor activities without having to wear a mask, the organization maintained that all mask and social distancing guidelines will still be enforced in schools until students are dismissed for the summer.

The CDC also noted that the COVID-19 vaccine is now just available to children 12 and up, leaving millions of elementary schoolers unprotected.

“Systems and policy adjustments may be required for schools to change mask requirements for students and staff while continuing to ensure the safety of unvaccinated populations,” the agency said in its recommendation, but noted that its guidance will be reevaluated and updated in the coming weeks.

The clarification comes after the CDC amended its guidance for fully-vaccinated Americans on Thursday, saying fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors, including in crowds, as announced by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

The announcement sparked confusion, promoting the clarification about schools.

The CDC states that 44 percent of Americans over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated, which is roughly 123 million people. 

In the meantime, several states will continue enforcing mask mandates and the confusion has again prompted discussion about using vaccine passports to ensure those not wearing masks are safe to do so, even though some states have already banned the idea.

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