U.S. schools that remained closed due to the coronavirus pandemic are finally reopening but they need to follow some strict social distancing measures and adhere to the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The final guidelines come weeks after a draft of guidelines for reopening businesses across the U.S. were leaked from the CDC.
President Donald Trump recently said that the country needs to move forward and lockdowns and stay-at-home orders need to be lifted and businesses should be reopening to get the economy on its feet. Since then many states have been slowly moving forward to reopen businesses and schools. However, some states started reopening schools and business before meeting the guidelines, which has left the U.S. divided.
School to Abide by All Guidelines
The CDC has clearly mentioned that schools need to follow strict safety measures, with social distancing being a benchmark. According to the guideline issued by the CDC, schools should go for a phased reopening but before that they need to meet all public health benchmarks keeping in mind the safety of students.
Also, summer camps should be limited only to children from the immediate area, per the checklist. Measures include cleaning and disinfection, social distancing, and monitoring for possible reemergence of infections. For kindergarten through 12th grade, the CDC guidelines require schools to reopen only after a sustained decrease in new coronavirus cases. Moreover, schools have been recommended to keep cafeterias and playgrounds closed and serve meals in classrooms.
If the cases drop, the schools can move to the next phase and start easing the social distancing measures such as staggering school drop-off times.
Reopening Schools Might Raise New Controversy
Although children are less likely to suffer from the deadly Covid-19 than adults, health experts believe that can spread the infection to the elderly. Hence, schools must follow all public health benchmarks issued by the CDC. Going's by Trump's plans of restarting the economy, many states started reopening businesses and schools even before meeting the federal guidelines. This has seen a political divide between Americans as many believe that authorities should pursue a cautious path toward reopening schools, as there could be a second wave of coronavirus.
School, thus, could become a fresh political battleground. Also, many states have lately been reporting cases of a fatal inflammatory syndrome in children that is being linked to coronavirus. This could further become a cause of concern once schools reopen. Moreover, the American Federation of Teachers has welcomed the guidelines but said that the responsibility of the safety of children lies with the local health officials and that the guidelines did not provide the additional support needed by the schools.