Thursday on “CNN Newsroom,” network medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen weighed in on the prospect of optional masking in schools.
Wen advised that once there is rapid testing for students and teachers and when vaccines are authorized for children, she could see masks coming off, but she clarified that the United States is “nowhere near that yet.”
“I agree that masks are a very powerful layer of protection, but it’s one layer,” Wen outlined. “And if we have so many other layers that are present, masking may be one that could go away. But I would say that — let’s say a school … or a particular class, everybody is vaccinated in that class, and also the level of community transmission is declining. I could imagine that situation being where we remove masks because we have all these other layers. Or if we have rapid testing, imagine if every child and teacher were tested every morning, and also they’re vaccinated, you can imagine that situation, even if there is high levels of community spread that maybe you can remove masks at that time.”
“But we are nowhere near that yet, and I think what we really need to do is get the vaccines authorized for children as soon as that is possible and also really ramp up testing because that is a powerful tool that we are just not using across the country as we should be,” she concluded.
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