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For Release:


Media Contact:

Lisa Black

Statement by Lee Savio Beers, MD, FAAP, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics

“Today the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance on how to keep children, teachers and staff safe through layered mitigation strategies as schools re-open. As a pediatrician, I recognize the fundamental importance of schools to child and adolescent development and well- being, in addition to high-quality academic instruction that is best delivered in person. As a nation, we should be prioritizing helping schools open safely so that children and adolescents can again benefit from everything that school provides, especially for children and adolescents who have already borne a disproportionate burden of the pandemic.

“We now have several months’ of evidence from schools across the U.S. who have been open for in-person learning during the pandemic. The evidence shows schools have not been a significant source of virus transmission, and that masks and physical distancing are highly effective in keeping students, teachers and other staff in schools safe. Today’s emphasis on these two mitigation strategies, along with consistent handwashing, cleaning and contact tracing efforts, are right on target. These public health protocols should continue to be the model schools follow as they increasingly transition to in-person learning. The AAP also encourages schools to continue to collaborate with state and local health leaders to assure that teachers and staff have access to the COVID-19 vaccines as recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

“The safest way to open schools is to ensure there is as little disease as possible in the community. We agree with the CDC that it is a shared responsibility and that all members of the community play a role in protecting each other and keeping schools open by wearing masks and following other safety protocols.”

Additional resource: AAP COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit

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