CDC Director: ‘We Can Re-Open Schools Safely, Even if all of the Teachers Are Not Vaccinated’

On Wednesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated that with proper mitigation measures, “we can re-open schools safely, even if all of the teachers are not vaccinated.”

Walensky said, “There’s accumulating data that suggests that there is not a lot of transmission that is happening in schools when the proper mitigation measures are taken, when there is masking, when there is distancing, de-densification of the classroom, ventilation, contact tracing, hand-washing, all of those things, when they’re done well, the data suggests, the science suggests that there is not a lot of transmission happening in schools, and in fact, the case rates in schools are generally lower than they are in the population surrounding it. So, that’s what the data and the science suggest. And that we definitely want to have the community rates of disease go down. We want to make sure that that is happening as well. But the data suggests that it’s safe to go back to school if you do all of those mitigation measures.”

She continued, “Now, that said, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has prioritized teachers as essential personnel. Because they are essential to our society’s function. And so, they fall in the 1b category, and they should be prioritized as essential workers for vaccination. That can be true, and I can believe that to be true, and I can emphasize that I believe teachers should get vaccinated. But I also think that the science tells us that if we can do the proper mitigation measures, and I would emphasize, if we have the funding to do the proper mitigation measures, as is put forth in the American Rescue Plan, that we can re-open schools safely, even if all of the teachers are not vaccinated.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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