The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the agency will continue to recommend that children wear masks this winter while in school, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky made the announcement on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at a news briefing.
She said once COVID-19 vaccinations are authorized for children ages 5 to 11, the CDC will work to scale up pediatric vaccinations, but she added that this will take some time.
"And as I just noted, as we head into these winter months, we know we cannot be complacent," she said.
Walensky said the CDC knows from previous data that schools with mask mandates were three-and-a-half times less likely to have COVID-19 outbreaks requiring school closure.
"Right now, we're going to continue to recommend masks in all schools for all people in those schools, and we will look forward to scaling up pediatric vaccination during this period of time," Walensky said.
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