The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidelines regarding the proposed reopening of schools in the fall, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While the question has created immense controversy, especially regarding to the safety of children and faculty, the agency is in favor of it happening.
According to the newest guidelines, the CDC states that the "best available evidence from countries that have opened schools indicates that COVID-19 poses low risks to school-aged children, at least in areas with low community transmission, and suggests that children are unlikely to be major drivers of the spread of the virus," as reported by Forbes. It added that "few reports of children being the primary source of COVID-19 transmission among family members" and "mixed evidence about whether returning to school results in increased transmission or outbreaks" from other countries.
The CDC does state that part of its decision was based on the importance of in-person education, citing the development of social skills, mental health, and the idea that doing so will prevent some students from falling behind. It did point out that school closures, most of which shuttered back in March, do have a disproportionately harmful impact on low-income, minority and disabled children.
As far as the numerous safety concerns, the CDC suggested that schools could have classes outside whenever possible. When not, it suggested keep students in "pods," stagger their return and have teachers stay with the same group of students throughout the day. Should someone happen to test positive, the agency added that it "would not likely warrant closing the entire school, especially if levels of community transmission are not high."
Much of the issue over schools reopening stems from the fact that coronavirus cases are skyrocketing across the U.S., with more than 4 million confirmed cases and over 450,000 deaths. Despite vocal concerns from health officials, teachers and teachers' rock stars sons alike, President Donald Trump has remained determined that schools open for the upcoming term, often through provably false claims.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany even attempted to defend the president's position, though ended up causing some controversy herself after a claim that "the science should not stand in the way" of reopening. Shortly thereafter, she followed that up stating that "the science is very clear on this," which referred to relatively low-level fatalities resulting from COVID-19.