President Joe Biden said Tuesday that America’s K-12 schools should remain open despite the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant.
Biden said that kids are as safe in school as they are anywhere else during his speech outlining the White House’s response to Omicron. Continuing mitigation efforts like vaccination, masking, social distancing and improving ventilation will be key to keeping schools open, the president said.
“We must also keep our K-12 schools open. Look, the science is clear and overwhelming. We know how to keep our kids safe from COVID-19 in school,” Biden said. “K-12 schools should be open. Safety is increased if schools require all adults who work in the school to get vaccinated, and take the safety measures that the CDC is recommending, including masking.”
“Schools should be safer than ever from COVID-19,” he continued. “And just Friday the CDC issued a test-to-stay guideline, so schools can stay open and kids can stay in class even if a classmate tests positive. COVID-19 is scary but the science is clear: children are as safe in school as they are anyplace, assuming appropriate precautions have been taken.” (RELATED: Biden Says You Can Safely Celebrate Christmas As Long As You’re Vaccinated)
Omicron has become the dominant variant of COVID-19 in the United States within weeks of being identified. However, data available so far indicates that it causes less severe disease than prior strains.