With the 2021-22 school year fast approaching, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its COVID-19 guidance for teachers and students to reflect that vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks.
As for those who remain unvaccinated, the CDC says that masks should continue to be worn and recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms. Along with the update, the agency stated that “students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority.”
Currently, anyone under the age of 12 is not eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. To prevent the spread of the virus in lower grades, the new guidance states that schools should implement layered strategies that include screening, testing, ventilation, handwashing and other techniques.
It’s also emphasized that, “in general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors.”
In Mississippi, masks were mandated in schools through the end of the previous school year, but that order will not be in effect once the new academic year begins.