CDC updates new COVID-19 guidelines for students in schools

CDC drops recommendations for routine testing and quarantine in new COVID-19 guidelines

According to a set of updated guidelines released Thursday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is no longer recommending students exposed to COVID-19 self-quarantine.

The agency also no longer recommends routine COVID-19 testing for most asymptomatic people, according to the new guidelines released with the agency's Weekly Illness and Mortality Report.

"Quarantine is no longer recommended for people exposed to COVID-19 except in certain high-risk settings such as correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and nursing homes," the CDC said.

Officials at K-12 schools and early care and education centers are advised to "manage exposure based on the local context and the benefits of maintaining access to personalized learning."

"Schools and early childhood education programs may also consider recommending masking and testing for a classroom in which a recently exposed student who is unable to properly and consistently wear a mask," the CDC said.

The new guidelines also don't differentiate whether people are aware of vaccinations.

The advice for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 has not changed.

The CDC still recommends that people isolate themselves for at least five days, and they can end the isolation after five days if they do not have a fever. Using the mask for ten days after recovery from the virus is still recommended.

"High levels of population immunity due to vaccination, previous infection, and the many tools available to protect the general population and people at greater risk allow us to focus on protecting people from the severe disease from Covid," Massetti said.

Most guidance will continue to rely on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 Community Levels Standards, which include hospitalization numbers in determining whether individual counties have a low, medium, or high level of the virus.

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