Facing The Fall: CDC director says he won’t change school reopening guidelines

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield, testifies before a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)
Center for Disease Control (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield, testifies before a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP) (UPI)

A day after President Donald Trump lashed out at federal health officials over reopening guidelines that he complained are impractical and expensive, and Vice President Mike Pence said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be issuing new guidance next week, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said Thursday that the guidelines won’t change.

Redfield said that instead of revising the guidelines, the schools will be given “additional reference documents” to help them figure out how to best use the guidelines for their districts.

It’s not clear yet what those additional documents are or what that will mean for local school districts that are already scrambling to rework back-to-school plans after an order from the Florida Department of Education requiring that all schools must reopen campuses five days a week in August.

Keep reading below to find out the biggest concerns that teachers have in Clay County and to learn more about how the reopening plan might change for Duval County schools.

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File Photo (CNN Newsource)

CDC won’t release new guidelines for reopening schools, director says

“Right now, we’re continuing to work with the local jurisdictions to how they want to take the portfolio of guidance that we’ve given to make them practical for their schools to reopen,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said. “Our guidelines are our guidelines.”

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File Photo

Survey shows a large number of Clay County teachers are immune-compromised

The new leader of the teachers union in Clay County says that 40% of teachers who responded to a recent survey said they are immune-compromised and have reservations about returning to school. Meanwhile, the district is working on a new reopening plan and it is expected to be released by the end of the week for parents to review.

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File Photo

New reopening plan in the works as concerns grow for parents of Duval County students

As teachers and parents continue to express concerns, Duval Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene hinted that the district has reworked its plan to reopen schools after the state mandate. A school board member said it could be released by next week.

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File Photo (Austin Independent School District)

St. Johns County plans to make all students wear masks on bus

The St. Johns County School District put it’s reopening plans on hold after the executive order was released, but one thing that seems settled — students will be required to wear masks when riding the school bus.

Federal COVID-19 testing at Regency Square Mall.
Federal COVID-19 testing at Regency Square Mall. (WJXT)

Jacksonville offers free COVID-19 testing for public school students, employees

Duval County Public Schools has partnered with the City of Jacksonville to offer free COVID-19 testing for students and employees. DCPS employees and students can get free testing at four locations around the city until July 15.

What are your back-to-school questions?

What are your burning questions as students prepare to return to school in August? Follow this link to submit a question and the News4Jax Education Team will work to get the answer.

Meet the team

The News4Jax Education Team is led by Reporter Joe McLean (jmclean@wjxt.com) who has nearly 10 years of experience as an investigative journalist covering everything from education to politics in Missouri.

Joining him is Digital Reporter Travis Gibson (tgibson@wjxt.com), a Jacksonville native and former high school sports reporter who has written about race issues and allegations of abuse on university and high school campuses across the country.

The goal is to have our reporters bring your questions and concerns to education leaders and hold them accountable. You’ll see their work online and on TV starting this week and throughout the school year.

Facing the Fall is our newsletter covering Jacksonville’s return to school. Interested? You’re already signed up. Our team of reporters will send updates to keep you informed. Not interested? Unsubscribe here.

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