To Mask, Or Not To Mask: Epidemiologists Debate Rules For K-12 Students This Fall

The COVID-19 advisory panel for Brookline, Mass., public schools met late on a Friday afternoon last week to discuss, as they had for over a year, safety in the district’s classrooms. But that morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had thrown what David Gacioch, the panel’s co-chair, called “a curveball.”

The CDC released the recommendation that students who are fully vaccinated don’t need to wear masks indoors this fall. The guidance seemed clear, except for one problem: many students are too young to get vaccinated or simply haven’t gotten the shots. So how exactly, Gacioch’s committee wondered, are schools to implement this new guidance?

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