Vaccinations Aren’t Necessary To Reopen Schools, CDC Chief Says
And in other school news, the city of San Francisco says it will sue its own school district to force it to reopen for in-person learning.
CDC Director Says It's Not Necessary For Teachers To Be Vaccinated In Order To Reopen Schools
While teachers unions and school systems clash over what is considered a safe return to in-person learning and President Joe Biden looks to reopen a majority of K-8 schools in 100 days, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday it could be possible to get back to school safely without hinging the return to classrooms on vaccines. "Vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for the safe reopening of schools," she said. (Flaherty and Tatum, 2/3)
In related school news —
San Francisco Chronicle:
San Francisco Sues Its Own School District, Board Over Reopening: 'They Have Earned An F'
The fight over reopening San Francisco’s public schools will take a dramatic, heated turn on Wednesday as the city becomes the first in the state — and possibly the entire country — to sue its own school district to force classroom doors open. City Attorney Dennis Herrera, with the blessing of Mayor London Breed, plans to sue the San Francisco Board of Education and the San Francisco Unified School District for violating a state law compelling districts to adopt a clear plan during the COVID-19 pandemic describing actions they “will take to offer classroom-based instruction whenever possible.” (Knight, 2/3)
The Washington Post:
Montgomery County Teacher Vaccination Effort Left Out Private-School Educators At Start
Cecilia Rajnic is eager to get vaccinated. But after the second-grade teacher heard about an immunization effort that involved thousands of slots for educators in suburban Maryland, she soon learned she was not eligible. She teaches at a Catholic school. “How is it even possible?” she recalled thinking. “I’m a teacher, too, and I’m teaching in person already, so why wouldn’t I have at least the same access?” (St. George, 2/3)
The New York Times:
Where Are U.S. Teachers Ineligible To Be Vaccinated?
As schools across the United States debate whether children will be able to attend classes in person amid an ongoing pandemic, only about half of the states are allowing teachers to get a shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. The New York Times tracks vaccine eligibility rules in all 50 states and found that at least 24 states and Washington, D.C., are providing shots to some teachers of kindergarten through high school, though some of those states only consider teachers eligible for the vaccine in certain counties. (Ivory and Leatherby, 2/4)
The Wall Street Journal:
Covid-19 Testing In Schools Bolsters Safety But Is Hard To Set Up, Studies Find
Regularly testing for Covid-19 in K-12 schools can help identify cases and provide an extra layer of protection for staff and families, according to two reports commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation released on Thursday. Implementing testing, however, is an enormous, logistically complex undertaking, and most schools need significant resources to make it feasible, the reports also found. One of the reports, conducted by research firm Mathematica, assessed programs in six pilot locations that either already have started or are planning to implement rapid antigen testing with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, a philanthropic foundation that has focused on Covid-19 testing for much of the pandemic. Tests were provided by the Department of Health and Human Services. (Abbott, 2/4)