EASTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- New guidance Friday night from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a roadmap for getting students in kindergarten to high school back to in-person classes, based on community risk levels.
The way the CDC breaks down their risk levels is in four different colors. Very similar to what Massachusetts already does.
In the blue and yellow, which is low to moderate transmission, the CDC said students K-12 can be in school learning in-person, with face coverings and staying six feet apart, and sports can move forward in these two categories as well.
When it gets to the orange level, representing substantial transmission risk, the CDC said all grade levels should go to a hybrid learning model, and sports held outside.
When it gets to the high-risk, red level, the recommendation is to move to virtual learning for middle and high schools and sports.
Western Mass News reached out to Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle for her reaction to these new guidelines. This is as students in her community will begin returning to in-person classes on February 22.
"Younger students, when properly using mitigation strategies: masking and distance, don’t transmit as much an infection of COVID-19," she noted. "With this affirmation from the CDC, I think it also goes to another important element of all this, which is public confidence.”
Now on another note, schools are not required to reopen under this guidance.
The CDC does not suggest that teachers and staff have to get the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to in-person classes. But social distancing, masks, and hand washing are still in play to ensure a safe learning environment.