Others, including some who have been very critical of the CDC’s previous school counseling, praised the new guidelines.
“For the first time, I really think they’ve got it on their nose,” said Dr. Benjamin Linas, an infectious disease specialist at Boston University. “I think it’s science-based and spot on.”
Dr. Linas said he expected the recommendation that unvaccinated children should wear masks will be rolled back, but that it still makes sense.
“I don’t want to send my 11-year-old to school without a mask because Delta is out there,” he said, referring to the highly transferable variant that is now causing the majority of cases in the United States. “And even if she doesn’t get a severe Covid from Delta, I’m not ready to take that risk.”
Emily Oster, Brown University economist and parenting book author who entered the controversial school reopening debate last year and used data to argue that children should return to school in person, said they generally agree with Satisfied with the framework of the CDC they told the districts a roadmap for reopening without being overly prescriptive.
Despite pushing for even more relaxed leadership – for example, the complete abolition of the three-foot rule – she said the new recommendations give districts important flexibility.
“This is in some ways the most positive that I have about your advice,” said Dr. Easter.
Although there are far fewer cases overall than during the winter peak, including among children, they have made up an ever greater proportion of cases over the course of the pandemic and more recently as more adults have been vaccinated.