WASHINGTON — Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced new COVID-19 guidance that shifts the determination of masking measures to the local level and encourages factoring local hospital admissions and capacity to determine such mitigation efforts. While this new guidance revises metrics, it does not preclude school districts, local governments or states from taking increased measures to protect the health and safety of students, educators, and their families.
The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Becky Pringle:
"We have always known that there would come a time to consider whether mask mandates were still necessary and have insisted that this decision be informed by science and medical experts, not politics. The National Education Association, as the voice of three million educators, recently called on the CDC to provide updated guidance to safely inform best practices for this transition. While the NEA is encouraged by the new guidance, local governments must bring educators to the table with our in-school experience when determining how to keep school communities safe – including those with disabilities who are more vulnerable to the exposure and effects of COVID-19.
"Educators are giving their all to meet the tremendous and continuing education and social emotional needs of students resulting from the pandemic. School districts should act cautiously in response to today’s announcement, with the health and safety of students, educators, and their families always in mind.
“With COVID-19 rates declining around the country we are optimistic that brighter days are ahead for our students, educators, parents, and communities. If a shift in the pandemic warrants, we must be prepared to apply what we have learned these past two years to prevent more tragic losses.
“Our nation’s educators will continue to advocate for our students and communities - and we look forward to working with the CDC and leaders across the country to keep our children safe, healthy and thriving in public schools."
Follow on Twitter at @NEAmedia and @BeckyPringle
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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at www.nea.org.
- Celeste Busser
- [email protected]