CDC To Release School Reopening Guidelines Friday, White House Says

NBC News

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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The CDC is expected to release its official guidelines for reopening schools on Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced in a Thursday briefing.

Psaki made the announcement in response media confusion about the administration’s goals for reopening schools. Psaki said Tuesday that the administration’s goal was to have “most” schools reopen within the first 100 days of President Joe Biden’s administration and that “open” meant having in-person classes at least one day a week. Psaki now says parents “should not” be satisfied with their children attending school one day per week. (RELATED: 66 GOP Congressmen Accuse Biden Of Ignoring Science On Reopening Schools)

The CDC’s guidelines are expected to focus more on prevention measures like social distancing and mask wearing than a vaccine requirements when it comes to schools. The administration had wavered on the need for vaccinations in schools in recent weeks. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky initially said vaccinating teachers should not be a “prerequisite” to reopening schools, a message the White House later walked back as “not official guidance.”

“I want to be clear that there is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen and that safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated in order to reopen safely,” Walensky had said. “Vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite of safe reopening of schools.”

Teachers’ unions are among the most aggressive advocates for requiring teacher vaccinations. Those unions may be disappointed, however, if the final guidance confirms reports that the CDC is shifting focus away from teacher vaccinations.