CDC releases new guidance for childcare centers emphasizing cohorting, universal mask use

COVID-19 response team
Posted at 10:46 AM, Mar 12, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released new guidance so that childcare programs can operate safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new guidance emphasizes that all children older than two and childcare providers should continue to wear masks, even after vaccination. The guidance also suggests that childcare providers should cohort, or “pod,” children in distinct groups that stick together throughout the entire school day.

The new guidance applies to pre-K programs, private child care centers, employer-based child care centers and child care centers in private homes.

The briefing came a day after President Joe Biden promised that all Americans will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine starting in May.

In his first primetime address as president, Biden told the country that he will direct all states to lift age and occupation restrictions on vaccine sign-ups starting in May, meaning that all Americans will be eligible to be vaccinated. The administration has said the U.S. will have enough vaccine supply by the end of May so that every American can be vaccinated.

Biden also promised that the country could return to some sense of normalcy by Independence Day.

“If we all do this, if we do our part, of we do this together, by July 4, there’s a good chance you, your families and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day,” Biden said.

The briefing also comes after Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan, a massive $1.9 trillion stimulus package that will send direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans.

Response team members have been pushing for the bill’s passage for several weeks, as it will provide crucial funding to supply mass vaccination sites and purchase materials necessary for the injections.

The response team’s briefing will take place virtually on Friday at 11:15 a.m. ET.