CDC changes COVID-19 guidelines, minimizing impact on education

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 7:50 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID-19 guidelines to help minimize the impact of COVID-19 on education. It’s a welcomed change for parents and educators as a new school year begins.

“When this started two years ago, we didn’t have a playbook,” said AJ Pethe, Chief of Schools for the Jefferson Parish school system. “The biggest change for our school system is really going to be in the way kids are quarantined or not quarantined.”

For the first time since the pandemic began, he said school leaders and educators are feeling confident about a new school year.

On Thursday, August, 11, the CDC announced it’s freeing schools and businesses from requiring people exposed to the virus to quarantine at home. In addition to no longer recommending social distancing of up to six feet.

“I feel 100 percent safe and also I think because of the fact we have access to vaccines, we’re in a different world than we were the first six to eight months of the pandemic,” said Sunita Arora, who has two elementary school-aged children.

Health experts like, Dr. Eric Griggs, said previous guidelines in place-- although necessary-- were disruptive to education and the changes made are practical to today’s COVID landscape.

“We know that things will eventually normalize or will find a homeostasis or an equilibrium and this is all just part of it. We just have to be patient with ourselves,” said Dr. Griggs.

He said as the virus continues to mutate, the situation can change as soon as cases begin to rise.

“It’s going to be a changing environment and just kind of roll with it. We’re trying to protect as many people as possible and we’re getting better and better every day,” he said.

As more students head back to the classroom, the goal this year is simple: Minimize the impact of COVID-19 on education.

“The longer our students are in school and the longer our teachers and staff are in school the better job we can do with educating our students,” said Pethe.

In Jefferson Parish, school leaders said they’re seeing less than one-tenth of a percent of positive cases.

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