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School year nears with eased COVID restrictions

Universal masking won’t be required and COVID-19 precautions will be up to each district, according to the Connecticut State Department of Education.

CONNECTICUT, USA — The start of the school year is just around the corner for Connecticut kids. As kids head back to the classroom, universal masking won’t be required and COVID-19 precautions will be up to each district, according to the Connecticut State Department of Education.

The Department of Public Health is encouraging schools to recommend children get COVID-19 vaccines before school starts and flu vaccines in the fall.

Mother of three Shadana Smith from Windsor said she’s feeling optimistic for the start of the new school year.

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“Now that there's vaccination for kids that are younger, it offers a little more comfort," Smith said.

She said her kids are vaccinated.

“I'm in the medical field so I am pro-vaccine so it was a must," Smith said.

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As students return to class, restrictions are largely lifted.

CSDE guidance has lessened the criteria for when kids should not come to school. Kids who have mild respiratory symptoms, like runny nose, sore throat, or mild cough can still come to school with a mask if they don’t have a fever or a family member with COVID-19 and test negative before coming in.

“The biggest concern we’ve always had is spread because spread keeps us out of the classroom and so, that’s something we’re going to have to keep apprised of and see if there’s any hot spots or any issues we need to address kind of on an as needed basis.” Kate Dias, President of the Connecticut Education Association, said.

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Dias said she anticipates districts will also have to discuss the CDC’s recent removal of the recommendation to quarantine, except in high-risk congregate settings.

DPH said school districts will organize vaccination clinics and offer self-test kits free of charge. The state has ordered 2.5 million self-test kits for distribution.

To view the state's Fall 2022 Operational Strategies, click here.

To learn more about DPH's COVID mitigation strategies, click here.

For the latest CDC school guidance, click here

Elisha Machado is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at emachado@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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