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Home / US / New White House recommendations encourage use of masks in schools, but do not require it

New White House recommendations encourage use of masks in schools, but do not require it



Adviser to President Kellyanne Conway speaks at length
Adviser to President Kellyanne Conway speaks during the “Get America’s Children Back to School Safely” event at the White House State Room in Washington, DC, Aug. 12. Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP

The White House released eight new recommendations for American schools as they prepare to reopen – but the recommendations are little more than basic hygiene tips and do not outline what to do if they encounter coronavirus cases in their halls.

Extensive recommendations are similar to coronavirus mitigation efforts across the country, and not particularly school-specific.

The “General Recommendations for All Schools,” published at President Donald Trump’s daily coronavirus conference, focus on what students and teachers need to do to try to keep people safe when they return to. class.

Recommendations include ensuring that students and staff “understand the symptoms of COVID-19” and require that “all students, teachers and staff self-assess their health every morning before coming to school”.
Recommendations also encourage the use of masks, but do not require students, teachers, or staff to wear them. They also “demand that students, teachers and staff distance themselves from society around high-risk individuals”, however it is unclear how schools will start doing this.

Trump said that “we are also offering opportunities for high-risk teachers and students to engage in teaching and distance learning.”

The president said one of the reasons he wants students to go back to school is because there are very few fatalities in young Americans.

“College-age students also continue to be one of the lowest-risk demographics,” Trump asserted. He also claimed that most of Covid-19 deaths “occur in people over 24 years old”.

This new list released by the White House echoes many of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes in its reopening guidelines for schools, which contain additional details.

Trump also said CDC teams could be deployed to schools in need of help with their reopening plans.

Earlier Wednesday, President Kellyanne Conway’s adviser said that despite the resources the federal government will provide, the decision to reopen the schools will still have to be made at a local level.

“We are the federal government. We are not telling school districts what to do. We are providing guidance and resources,” Conway said.


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