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CDC says vaccinated teachers, students don’t need masks at school this fall

Jul 9, 2021, 4:52 PM
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First grade students practice their handwriting at the Green Mountain School on Feb. 18, 2021, in Woodland, Washington. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Fully vaccinated teachers and students can ditch their masks inside the school building when classes resume this fall, according to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Report: Washington’s vaccine lottery led to 24% increase in vaccination rates

A spokesperson with the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction told KIRO Radio that K-12 schools will follow the guidance from the state Department of Health. The state DOH says it is planning to review the new federal recommendations and then update Washington’s guidelines in the coming weeks.

The CDC still recommends maintaining least 3 feet of distance between students in school classrooms, combined with masks for those who are not vaccinated.

Until children under the age of 12 are eligible to be vaccinated, the CDC says to keep implementing layered prevention strategies for schools with younger kids in order to protect those who are not fully vaccinated, including students, teachers, staff, and members of their households.

“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 CDC writes.

At this time, everyone in Washington state age 12 or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Washington updates mask rules now that state has reopened

The current rules in Washington in terms of masks require unvaccinated people to wear a mask while indoors with people outside their household. It’s OK to ditch the mask outdoors, except when it’s difficult to social distance, such as at concerts, parades, and sporting events. Vaccinated people don’t need to wear a mask outdoors or indoors, unless it’s required by an establishment or business.

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CDC says vaccinated teachers, students don’t need masks at school this fall