Our opinion: COVID changes an improvement

It took four long years, but U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials are finally ready to recommend parents should treat COVID-19 and its variants like any other respiratory illness.

It is no longer a federal recommendation that students undergo isolation periods and masking.

As deaths and hospitalizations from the virus drop, the CDC now says students can go back to school when their symptoms improve and they are fever-free for 24 hours without taking medication. The agency does still suggest that students are “encouraged” to wear a mask when they return to class.

It’s good news for parents who won’t have to miss more work when their child tests positive for one virus as opposed to another. That is, if school districts and child care centers follow the change in guidance.

Even as COVID-19 has come to be regarded less as a monster and more as yet another bug to join the list of what we already try to avoid, it is still feared. We know it can kill. It is hard to change thinking about a virus that changed our world as this one did.

That is why we must not give up on some of the other things we’ve learned over the past few years. Vaccinate, test, stay home if you are ill, keep your distance, wash and sanitize hands often … all of that is good practice no matter what the contagion.

And if your child’s school district is slow to adapt to the CDC’s relaxed guidance, try not to get frustrated.

Each administrator and school district must make the decisions right for their students, and it’s not always easy to know what that is.


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