(CNN/Meredith) -- The director of the CDC claimed on Thursday that coronavirus is not spreading in schools.

Dr. Robert Redfield said the virus is spreading in the community and small family gatherings, but schools aren’t to blame.

During a White House briefing Thursday, Redfield said the coronavirus infections the CDC has identified in schools have been linked to acquiring the virus outside of school.

“The infections that we've identified in schools when they've been evaluated were not acquired in schools, they were actually acquired in the community and in the household,” Redfield said.

Redfield said the biggest threat for coronavirus spread is small family gatherings where people become more comfortable and remove their face masks.

“It's not inter-school transmission. The truth is for kids K through 12, one of the safest places can be, from our perspective, is to remain in school,” Redfield said.

Redfield said it would be counterproductive to close schools in an effort to contain the virus.

Schools across the country, however, are all dealing with the pandemic differently. Because mandates are different from county to county and state to state, some schools have more precautions in place than others. There is no national mandate that says masks must be worn in schools.

Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

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