CDC releases back-to-school guidance on COVID prevention | The Daily Courier

Students go back to school in about a month, and there are still many questions about what COVID-19 protocols will look like. On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance on COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools. The CDC stresses students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall is a priority.

During the pandemic, CDC directives have helped influence school safety decisions. They are recommending removing prevention strategies one at a time, so it can be easily monitored if virus cases increase. With vaccines only available for people ages 12 and up, a large proportion of school-age children are unprotected. Schools need to remain transparent with families, staff and the community about the process and take steps to promote vaccinations for staff and students over 12. However, they recommend masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated, and the guidance is not a mandate.

Here’s a link to the CDC Guidelines:

Yavapai County Community Health Services will offer appointments for back-to-school vaccinations for the upcoming school year in all three locations – Prescott Valley Fridays, Aug. 6, 13 and 20; Prescott Tuesday, Aug. 10, and Thursdays Aug. 19 and 26, and in Cottonwood on Tuesdays, Aug. 17, 24 and 31. Call 928-771-3321 to make an appointment. Parents will need to bring their children’s immunization records and check with their doctor to make sure the records are up to date. To learn more about immunization requirements in Arizona, see this link: For uninsured children, there is an administration fee of $20 per child receiving vaccines. The administration fees can be waived under certain circumstances. YCCHS will bill for insurance. Parental consent is required to administer the shots to children under the age of 18.

In his recent rescinding of 25 COVID-19 pandemic-related executive orders, Gov. Doug Ducey stated, “Notwithstanding any other law or order, a county, city, town, school district governing board or charter school governing body may not require the use of face coverings by students or staff during school hours and on school property; and a school district or charter school may not require a student or teacher to receive a vaccine for COVID-19 or to wear a face covering to participate in in-person instruction.”

Yavapai County reports 29 COVID-19 cases and 2 deaths since Friday. The county has tested 124,994 residents for COVID-19 with 19,807 positive cases and 531 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Yavapai Regional Medical Center reports 10 COVID-19 patients, VVMC reports three, and the VA has one COVID-19 patient.

Arizona health officials, meanwhile, Monday reported 122 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths.

The new daily case number is a steep drop from a day earlier, when there were 803 new reported cases. Public health officials have said statistics can sometimes be lower due to a lag in reporting on weekends.

The latest numbers increased the state’s totals to 901,561 cases and 18,035 deaths since the pandemic began more than a year ago.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arizona has the 12th-highest number of cases among U.S. states and the sixth-highest rate of cases by population.

The state’s coronavirus dashboard showed more than 6.6 million vaccine doses have been administered with 3.6 million people — 50.6% of Arizona’s population — having received at least one shot.

More than 3.2 million Arizonans are fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 Information en Español:

Questions & Answers About COVID-19 Vaccines | The Ad Council (

Information provided by Yavapai County Community Health Services and the Associated Press.

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