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Education Secretary Says Schools’ ‘Default Should Be In-Person Learning’ During Omicron Wave

  • January 3, 2022
  • /   The Daily Wire
  • /   News
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Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said schools should be open during the Omicron wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a different message than many schools across the country are following amid rising case numbers.

“We can do it safely,” Cardona said Sunday on “Face the Nation,” according to CBS News. “We have better tools than we had in the past to get it done. We know what works, and I believe even with Omicron, our default should be in-person learning for all students across the country.”

Cardona went on to say there may be some temporary closures, but added that “we have to stay focused on those mitigation strategies that work.” He then said the mitigation strategies that work are “when we have masks and when we’re ensuring that if students are sick, they stay home.”

Many teachers’ unions are again refusing to go back to school, claiming teachers don’t feel safe, CBS reported.

“We’re supporting our educators by providing a safe learning environment,” Cardona said of the fear. “We’re providing vaccination for our students as young as 5 so that the whole school community is safe. And we’re providing surveillance testing to make sure that if someone is sick, that they stay home. So those are the things that we can do to provide a safe school environment, and we need to double down now that Omicron is higher to make sure that we’re doing that.”

As The Daily Wire previously reported, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said in October that the evidence for masking kids in schools is “very weak.”

“Step back for a moment from what you hear constantly on TV, and just very briefly in terms of the data that supports mask use for kids and mandates for mask use for kids, it is very weak and that’s a fact,” Ladapo said at press conference in October alongside Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who has refused to allow mask mandates for children in schools.

“So there is a substantial gap between the quality of the data out there, which shouldn’t surprise you, right? We haven’t been doing this very long. But there is a substantial gap between the quality of the data out there supporting masks in kids yielding any benefit for kids whatsoever – factual – and what we’re hearing from our public health leadership in other states and nationally,” Ladapo continued.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, continues to recommend young children wear masks. The CDC website says in part:

Due to the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.

In addition to universal indoor masking, CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully re-open while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as screening testing. …

Many schools serve children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for vaccination at this time. Therefore, this guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies (e.g., using multiple prevention strategies together consistently) to protect students, teachers, staff, visitors, and other members of their households and support in-person learning.

These CDC guidelines have led to schools in various Democrat-controlled districts to force young children to eat outside, socially distanced, in near-freezing temperatures.

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