SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance for schools.
One main new recommendation is having school districts not screen for universal symptoms.
Health officials said this is because most children don’t show symptoms if they have COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing day by day and it seems so is the school guidance.
The CDC is now not recommending universal screenings for kindergarten through 12th grade.
That means no temperature checks or filling out a screening questionnaire as kids head into school.
“There are a lot of kids that are not symptomatic that screening will be negative and they may turn around to have the virus,” said Dr. John O’Reilly, chief of general pediatrics at Baystate Medical Center. “The other thing we are struggling with is a lot of kids before they have symptoms are already spreading the virus.”
The CDC recommends for parents to be on the lookout for any symptoms.
“If your child is ill, don’t send them to school,” he said. “Don’t sneak in that dose of Motrin and send them on their way. Keep them home because they are going to put other kids at risk.”
Also under the guidance, the CDC recommends schools to upgrade their ventilation systems, including opening windows and using fans. It’s also recommended to use portable air filtration systems and running the HVAC system for two hours before and after school.
O’Reilly said initially health experts were worried about heavy droplets that would land on a surface spreading COVID-19.
Now, experts say there are more viable particles that are airborne that could spread the virus.
“The best thing to prevent that really is to do outside air coming into the class and air filter systems whether it’s a school-wide filter system or whether it is an individual classroom air filter,” he said. “Even things as simple as leaving the windows open and getting a fan going, getting a circulation everything that disrupts the particle flown.”
O'Reilly recommended for parents to check in with their school department about their ventilation system.