The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has removed controversial school guidelines from its website, which advocated for students returning to personal learning.
The guidelines were quietly lifted on October 29 without a public announcement or explanation. Originally published in July, the agency downplayed the risks of transmitting COVID-19 to children and others, stressing that closing schools would be detrimental to their social and emotional well-being and safety.
The document was removed because information about the transmission of COVID-1
“This document does not provide an appropriate and necessary context or considerations on how to safely open schools for personal training,” MacDonald said.
The CDC website now says: “Evidence is accumulating that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and, contrary to early reports, may play a role in transmission.”
The news of the change in the CDC’s announcement came as coronavirus cases in Michigan increased and state restrictions, including suspending education in high schools and colleges until Dec. 8, were introduced to slow the spread of the virus.
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“In the last nine months, we’ve learned that school-age children can become infected with COVID, and although their symptoms are usually mild, they are susceptible to the virus,” said Liz Boyd, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Education Association. “They can also pass it on to otherwise healthy people, and those numbers are rising.”
Will the change change the CDC guidelines?
“We can’t say, but we know that our members believe that virtual learning, while not optimal, is the best option in the face of these jumping cases of COVID-19,” Boyd said.
Teachers are at the forefront of this pandemic and believe their voice needs to be heard, Boyd said. She cites findings from a recent MEA survey of members, which shows that more than 8-in-10 teachers in Michigan are concerned about the safety of personal learning at the moment.
“It’s unfortunate that some people are reluctant to follow science and the advice of public health experts,” Boy said.
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The decision on whether to teach in person or remotely is left to school districts in Michigan this fall. But last week’s safety steps by state and local health officials did not fully match the CDC’s updated personal training guidelines. Areas were not required to close buildings up to classes K-8, as the risk of transmission was considered lower.
State guidelines on COVID-19 are changing over time based on new knowledge about COVID-19, said Lynn Sutfin, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
“COVID-19 is a new virus and much has been learned about symptoms, transmission and prevention since the beginning of the pandemic,” Sutfin said in a statement. “The guidelines have been updated and changed over time.”
Public health officials have acknowledged that COVID-19 could spread to all age groups, Sutfin said.
“We shared the message that all Michiganders, regardless of age, are vulnerable to COVID-19 and the health effects of the virus and can spread the virus to others,” she said. “MDHHS staff use data and science, along with CDC guidelines, to help make recommendations on a variety of issues.”
When state restrictions were announced on November 15, MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said the transmission rate of COVID-19 varied at different levels, with transmission more likely to occur in high school.
In a public health warning issued by the Kent County Health Department on Friday, November 20, Principal Adam London said K-8 students could continue their face-to-face learning, even though high schools were ordered to close. calling on younger students to be “less effective transmitters of coronavirus than high school students.”
“The education of our young people is also essential to the well-being of the community,” the health statement said.
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The report is based on recommendations from a team of pediatricians and doctors who say younger children are less effective in spreading the virus, London said.
But the health director also acknowledged that because COVID-19 is so new, the evidence is not 100% convincing.
“It’s unfortunate that we don’t have very clear, concise and definite guidelines or science on what is the best thing to do,” said London, when asked if the CDC and MDHHS guidelines contradict each other.
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