(NEW YORK) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending schools keep to the current COVID-19 guidelines, including mask-wearing and distancing, for the remainder of the school year as most students aren’t fully vaccinated.
The agency provided the update on May 15 to clear up any confusion by the public following its announcement Thursday that vaccinated Americans can go maskless both indoors and outdoors.
The CDC noted that coronavirus vaccines are only available for people over the age of 12, leaving millions of school-age children unprotected from the virus.
“Systems and policy adjustments may be required for schools to change mask requirements for students and staff while continuing to ensure the safety of unvaccinated populations,” the agency said in its recommendation.
The CDC said it will update its guidance for schools in the coming weeks.
As of Sunday, more than 123 million Americans over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data. That represents roughly 44% of the American population over 12, the CDC said.
Although the agency’s guidance permits vaccinated Americans to go maskless, several states haven’t lifted their mask mandates, and officials are urging Americans to get their shots as soon as they can.
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