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Harvard Prof: CDCs Guidelines Would Close Schools That Are Open, If Theyre Followed, Kids Are Not Getting Back

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On Friday’s broadcast of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” Director of the Harvard Healthy Buildings Program and Associate Professor Dr. Joseph Allen criticized the CDC’s school re-opening guidelines by stating that if schools follow the guidelines, schools that are open now would close, and “if schools start following this new guidance strictly, kids are not getting back to full-time school.”

Allen said, “We’ve seen examples where schools have stayed open and have been effectively open with very little in-school transmission, even in communities with high community spread. In fact, CDC’s own report has shown that. We’ve also seen the opposite. We’ve seen low community spread, poor controls in school, and cases. So, the community spread metric idea sounds great, but the reality is, it doesn’t really tell us what’s happening in schools. 90% of the schools right now in the U.S. are in what CDC deems the red zone, even schools that have been open with no cases or very little to no transmission in the schools. So, essentially, reliance on community spread metrics means schools will stay closed, or they won’t get back to full in-person learning any time soon.”

Host Steve Inskeep then stated, “It sounds like you’re telling me that some schools, if they strictly followed these guidelines, would actually close, schools that are open now.”

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Allen responded, “That’s right, and that’s the problem. And to get to the blue zone, which is the best of the four color codes they use, essentially comes down to having one case per 100,000 people per day. Now, we may never get to that place. In fact, it’s unlikely we’ll get to it in this Fall. I’m sure of it. So, if you followed this strictly, that’s what it means. Wake-up call to parents, if schools start following this new guidance strictly, kids are not getting back to full-time school.”

He later stated, “I support the Biden administration, but it doesn’t sound like a national emergency to me. A hundred days is too slow. That puts us into May. And let’s be clear, it is a national emergency.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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