NH health officials discuss newly released CDC guidance with K-12 administrators


With just a few weeks to go before the start of the school year, many districts are still shaping their COVID-19 safety policies considering the delta variant.State public health officials held a call with districts on Wednesday to cover the latest guidance. State epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan clarified the state’s guidance on face masks and testing for K-12 schools this fall.Officials recommended universal masking indoors in counties or cities with a level of community transmission considered “substantial” or when there is a larger outbreak, or multiple clusters in a school facility. Chan said there can be exceptions for classrooms or schools with a higher vaccination rate, universal testing programs or other measures like strictly enforced physical distancing. He said face masks would be optional in areas with community transmission levels considered “moderate” or “minimal,” or when there are sporadic cases in a school with no evidence of facility transmission.Chan emphasized that these were recommendations, not requirements.“Achieving high levels of vaccination among eligible children, families, community, is the most important action people can take to promote their own health and end the pandemic,” Chan said. “So, it remains a key recommendation that schools help communicate the importance of vaccination.”Chan said anyone with new and unexplained symptoms that could be COVID-19 should stay home and get tested, regardless of vaccination status. >> MORE FROM WMUR: Kingston man found guilty of disorderly conduct for Tannerite at gender reveal

With just a few weeks to go before the start of the school year, many districts are still shaping their COVID-19 safety policies considering the delta variant.

State public health officials held a call with districts on Wednesday to cover the latest guidance. State epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan clarified the state’s guidance on face masks and testing for K-12 schools this fall.

Officials recommended universal masking indoors in counties or cities with a level of community transmission considered “substantial” or when there is a larger outbreak, or multiple clusters in a school facility.

Chan said there can be exceptions for classrooms or schools with a higher vaccination rate, universal testing programs or other measures like strictly enforced physical distancing.

He said face masks would be optional in areas with community transmission levels considered “moderate” or “minimal,” or when there are sporadic cases in a school with no evidence of facility transmission.

Chan emphasized that these were recommendations, not requirements.

“Achieving high levels of vaccination among eligible children, families, community, is the most important action people can take to promote their own health and end the pandemic,” Chan said. “So, it remains a key recommendation that schools help communicate the importance of vaccination.”

Chan said anyone with new and unexplained symptoms that could be COVID-19 should stay home and get tested, regardless of vaccination status.

>> MORE FROM WMUR: Kingston man found guilty of disorderly conduct for Tannerite at gender reveal



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