By Emily Anthes
The American Academy of Pediatrics issued new Covid-19 guidelines for schools on Monday, recommending that everyone over age 2 wear masks this fall, even if they have been vaccinated. Exceptions may be made for those with medical or developmental conditions that complicate mask wearing, the group said.
The universal masking recommendation is a departure from the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month, which recommends masking in schools only for unvaccinated people over age 2. Those guidelines heavily implied that fully vaccinated children and adults would not need to wear masks in the classroom — although they also said that individual schools were free to implement universal mask mandates.
In many other ways, however, the two sets of guidelines are similar. The A.A.P., like the C.D.C., emphasized the importance of returning to in-person learning.
“We need to prioritize getting children back into schools alongside their friends and their teachers — and we all play a role in making sure it happens safely,” Dr. Sonja O’Leary, the chair of the A.A.P. Council on School Health, said in a statement.