Top pediatrician group recommends masking in schools regardless of vaccination status

[anvplayer video=”5044302″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — School may be out of session, but when your children come back, the top pediatrician group recommends both your kids and school staff keep the masks, even if they got the COVID-19 shot.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announced the recommendation Monday as part of its updated school reopening guidance.

The AAP supports in-person learning, but recommends everyone two years old and up remain masked up in class. The organization said a significant portion of the student population is not yet eligible for vaccines, and masking is proven to reduce the spread of the virus.

It says it will be difficult for schools to track the vaccination status of students, teachers, and staff, and cited low vaccination rates in some communities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) previously cleared the way for a full return to in-person learning in the fall, but local districts are still waiting for more guidance.

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) told News10NBC it is still “reviewing the new CDC guidance” and has not given a timetable for when it will determine whether to allow schools to follow it or update its own guidance.

As for the AAP, additional recommendations include adopting mental health support, "adequate and timely" COVID-19 testing resources, and keeping close contact with local health officials.