Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash
The Lancer Ledger published an article on March 15, 2021 reflecting on COVID-19 one year after it shut schools down. Since then, many updates to mandates have been put in place. Many of these will help us return to a more normal lifestyle; one that we were familiar with before the pandemic. Here is a brief overview of many of theses updates:
3 Feet Distancing for Schools
On March 19, the CDC released this update. The update explains that 3 feet spacing is adequate for all elementary schools, despite the level of transmission in the area. It also explains that 3 feet spacing in middle schools and high schools is fine, as long as the transmission in the area isn’t high. They still recommend 6 feet for those middle schools and high schools in areas of high transmission.
This update has an impact on Lakeland Regional High School. With the school year ending in approximately one month, the school will be converting their “Red Day” and “Grey Day” cohorts into one cohort. Students will participate in in-person learning 5 days a week for the first time since March 13, 2020.
Vaccines for those 12 and older
Relatively recently, the CDC has stated that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be used for those 12 years old and up now instead of 16 and up. The FDA also approved it for emergency use authorization for those 12-15 years of age. This will help children return to social activities. It will also aid the return to school full time along with advancing the country’s effort to reach herd immunity.
No masks needed for fully vaccinated people
The CDC released an update on March 13th explaining that those who are fully vaccinated will not need to wear a mask outside or inside. States such as New York and Pennsylvania are adopting this recommendation, while Governor Murphy has stated that masks will still be required in New Jersey, at least for indoor situations. The CDC’s recommendation shows the light at the end of the tunnel. The sooner more people get vaccinated, the quicker we can return to normal.
Free rides to vaccine appointments
The CDC’s update on the lowered age restriction on the vaccine also stated that the government has partnered up with ride-share companies, Uber and Lyft, to provide free rides to vaccination sites. According to Uber, they teamed up with PayPal and Walgreens to provide more access to vaccines. Like many of these other updates, this will help communities return to normalcy.
As the nation continues to receive vaccinations and communities reopen, new updates will continue to come out. A little more than a year after the pandemic began, the world begins to open up to a normal again.