The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pulled controversial school guidance from its website that advocates for students to return to learning.
The guidance was quietly removed on 29 October without any public announcement or clarification. Originally published in July, the agency canceled the transmission risk COVID-19 to children and others, stressing that school closures would be detrimental to their social and emotional well-being and safety.
The document was removed because information on COVID-19 broadcasting among children was outdated, CDC spokesman, Jason McDonald said in a statement.
“This document does not provide the proper and necessary context or idea of how to safely open schools for in-learning,” McDonald said.
The CDC website now states, “There is increasing body of evidence that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and may play a role in transmission, contrary to early reports.”
The message brought news of the CDC change as Michigan’s coronovirus cases increased and the state included sanctions, including halting face-to-face instruction in high schools and colleges until Dec. 8, to help slow the spread of the virus. Was enacted for.
related: In response to the increase of COVID-19 cases in Michigan, individual meals, high school games are closed
Liz Boyd, a spokesman for the Michigan Education Association, said in a statement, “Over the past nine months, we have learned that school-age children can contract COVID, while their symptoms may generally be mild, they fall prey to the virus. . “They can also deliver it to otherwise healthy people and those numbers are increasing.”
Will a change in CDC guidelines make a difference?
“We are not able to say this, but we know that our members believe virtual learning, while not optimal, is the best option in these skyrocketing COVID-19 cases,” Boyd said.
Boyd said that teachers are at the forefront of this epidemic and believe that their voices should be heard. She cited findings in a recent survey of MEA members that showing 8 to 10 Michigan teachers are more concerned about in-person learning safety.
“It is unfortunate that there is a reluctance among some to follow the advice of science and public health experts,” Boye said.
related: Michigan teachers don’t trust January return in in-class classrooms, survey shows
The decision leaves Michigan school districts to operate classes in person or remotely. But last week’s security steps by state and local health officials do not fully align with the CDC’s updated guidance on in-person learning. Districts were not required to close buildings for K-8 in-person classes because transmission risk was considered low.
The state’s guidance on COVID-19 has changed over time, based on new knowledge about COVID-19, said Lynn Sutfin, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Sutifin said in a prepared statement, “COVID-19 is a novel virus and much has been learned since the onset of the epidemic about symptoms, transmission and prevention.” “Guidance has been updated and changed over time.”
State health officials have acknowledged that COVID-19 can spread among all age groups, Sutfin said.
“We have shared the message that all mixiganders, whatever their age, are sensitive to the health effects of COVID-19 and the virus and can spread the virus to others,” she said. “MDHHS officers use data and science with CDC guidance to help make recommendations on various issues.”
When state restrictions were announced on November 15, MDHHS director Robert Gordon said the COVID-19 transmission rate varied between grade levels, with the higher the likelihood of transmission at the high school level.
In a public health warning issued by the Kent County Health Department on Friday, November 20, Director Adam London said that K-8 grade students could continue with face-to-face learning, even though the closure of high school The order was given, calling the young students. “Less effective transmitters of coronovirus than high school students.”
“Education of our youth is also essential for the well being of the community,” the health notice stated.
related: Kent County issues public health warning as new coronovirus infections reach ‘alarming levels’
Scientists in London said the announcement was made based on the recommendations of a team of pediatricians and physicians, who said that young children are less effective at spreading the virus.
But the Health Director also admitted that because COVID-19 is so new, the evidence is not 100% conclusive.
“It is unfortunate that we do not have very clear, concise and conclusive instructions or science as to what is the best thing to do,” London said, when asked if the CDC and MDHHS guidelines contradicted each other.
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