As schools across the nation continue to grapple with preventing COVID-19 cases from rising without adding further disruption to students who are well within the third consecutive academic year that has been disrupted by the ongoing pandemic, the Biden administration has been faced with pressure over how to prevent further shutdowns.
Last week, the administration announced it would be advocating for a “test-to-stay” policy that would allow students who have made contact with COVID-19 positive cases to attend in-person classes if they test negative for the virus.
In a White House press conference on Friday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said under such a policy, “if [children exposed to a COVID case] meet a certain criteria and continue to test negative, they can stay in school, instead of quarantining at home.”
Up until this point, standard recommended policy from the Biden White House has been for children who make contact with COVID-19 cases have been made to quarantine, which many school districts have implemented.
Walensky pointed to several studies which she says “demonstrate that test-to-stay works to keep unvaccinated children in school safely.”
School COVID-19 policies have become a contentious political issue since the onset of the pandemic, as many point to data showing that children are at relatively low risk of complications or death due to the virus, as well as low rates of communication between children and parents.
Nonetheless, the Biden administration has advocated for universal mask requirements and heavily promoted vaccinating children as young as five.
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