The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its coronavirus guidance for schools as they prepare to reopen in the fall. The agency said that having students return to in-person learning should be the priority.
To make it easier for schools, the guidance now says that only unvaccinated teachers and students need to wear a mask while indoors. Those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask.
The agency stressed the importance of getting vaccinated before the start of the school year.
"Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the Covid-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports," the CDC said.
The CDC added that students should remain at least three feet apart while in the classrooms and suggested other strategies to help prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
"Screening testing, ventilation, handwashing, and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are also important layers of prevention to keep schools safe," the updated guidance says.
The CDC said that individual school districts should monitor their local situation and craft policies, such as mandatory mask mandates for everybody, based on those numbers.