CMS following CDC mask guidelines for schools for rest of school year

The CDC is recommending schools keep to the current COVID-19 guidelines, including mask-wearing and distancing, for the remainder of the school year as most students aren’t fully vaccinated.

According to ABC News, the agency provided the update on May 15 to clear up any confusion by the public following its announcement Thursday that vaccinated Americans can go maskless both indoors and outdoors.

The CDC noted that coronavirus vaccines are only available for people over the age of 12, leaving millions of school-age children unprotected from the virus.

“Systems and policy adjustments may be required for schools to change mask requirements for students and staff while continuing to ensure the safety of unvaccinated populations,” the agency said in its recommendation.

The CDC said it will update its guidance for schools in the coming weeks.

As of Sunday, more than 123 million Americans over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data. That represents roughly 44% of the American population over 12, the CDC said.

Although the agency’s guidance permits vaccinated Americans to go maskless, several states haven’t lifted their mask mandates, and officials are urging Americans to get their shots as soon as they can.

On May 20, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools released the following information regarding face coverings and capacity restrictions:

With Gov. Roy Cooper’s May 14 changes to the face coverings order and venue capacity restrictions, we want to clarify what this means for CMS.

  • Gov. Cooper’s update on face coverings continues to require all adults and students to wear face coverings indoors in school facilities.
  • Face coverings are required indoors for ALL staff, students and guests in CMS facilities, including schools, central office and administration buildings, and are required on CMS transportation at all times, unless an exception applies.
  • Face coverings are no longer required outdoors, but they may be worn if individuals are more comfortable doing so.
  • Face coverings are required for students and staff during CMS graduation ceremonies at off-site venues, including Bojangles’ Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium and the Charlotte Convention Center. Families and guests attending graduation will be expected to follow the venue’s safety protocols and policies. CMS strongly encourages families and guests to wear face coverings.
  • CMS is not changing capacity restrictions for graduation ceremonies (limit of 4 guests) and end-of-year activities such as arts performances (limit of 1-2 guests).
  • Principals and school staff are focused on End-of-Year testing and finishing the school year strong. There is insufficient time for making attendance and event capacity adjustments as we complete this important work.
  • Graduation ceremonies begin in less than one week. Graduation venues have hired staff for such roles as security and set up/take down and have communicated that there is not sufficient time to make changes to staffing and other logistical plans.

(WATCH: Here’s which local stores are still requiring masks)