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CDC may soon update COVID-19 guidance, including in schools, report says

First graders danced on June 27, 2022 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. K-8 School in Dorchester.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to update its guidance to control the spread COVID-19, including in schools, in the coming days, CNN reported on Wednesday.

The changes are still being deliberated, but the updated guidelines could ease quarantine recommendations for people exposed to COVID, 6-foot social distancing, and regular screening tests for COVID in schools, according to plans obtained by CNN.

“The CDC is always evaluating our guidance as science changes and will update the public as it occurs,” a CDC spokesperson told the Globe on Thursday.

In Massachusetts, some teachers’ union leaders said they expect to hear updates on guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education soon. DESE is finalizing its COVID guidance to school districts for the fall, according to a department spokesperson.


State officials began to ease some COVID guidelines and precautions for schools earlier this year.

In February, the Baker administration lifted the statewide requirement for masks be worn in schools, leaving the decision to local leaders.

The Department of Early Education and Care, the Department of Public Health, and DESE also updated isolation and quarantine guidance for children in child care centers and other educational settings in May. The guidance currently states that children who have been exposed to COVID are no longer required to quarantine, allowing them to continue to be in class or child care as long as they are asymptomatic.

Additionally, State Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley sent out a memo to superintendents at the end of May saying that the state will no longer supply self-tests or other COVID testing services to schools starting this fall.

“DESE and [the Department of Public Health] strongly recommend that schools and districts interested in implementing their own testing program limit that program to symptomatic rapid testing only,” the memo noted.


Adria Watson can be reached at adria.watson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @adriarwatson.