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Press Release

NEA on updated CDC mask guidance

Becky Pringle: CDC's mitigation strategies should remain in place to protect school communities
Published: May 14, 2021

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday announced that it continues to advise K-12 schools to require both masking and physical distancing, as well as other key mitigations measures, through the end of this school year. This was a clarification to last week's guidance that vaccinated individuals may go without masks or social distancing indoors and outdoors in many situations.

The following can be attributed to NEA President Becky Pringle:

"CDC’s new guidance on vaccinated people highlights again the critical importance of everyone, including all students who are now eligible, getting vaccinated as quickly as possible.  

"CDC’s current recommendation that schools continue to implement existing school-related guidance, including the mandatory and correct use of wearing masks and continuing of social distancing, is an important and welcome clarification about the protections that need to be in place in our schools. All schools teaching students from kindergarten through grade 12 should continue to implement proper mask-wearing and distancing at least through the end of the 2020-21 school year. These key mitigation measures for safe in-person instruction should remain in place in schools and institutions of higher education to protect all students and others who are not vaccinated.   

“We know at this point that only a third of adults are vaccinated and no students younger than 16 are fully vaccinated. Vaccines for those who are eligible and continued mitigation measures to protect our unvaccinated students and vulnerable members of the school community will ensure healthy, safe and equitable school environments as we recover from the pandemic." 

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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  

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National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.