Most importantly, the guidance included a directive that schools should remain open regardless - even in the event of an outbreak - regardless of whether all COVID-prevention strategies can be implemented.
The new federal guidelines aren't mandatory, but they're supposed to give public school administrators a framework to help navigate the complexities of teaching during the COVID era.
The updated guidance, which can be read in full here, advised that in-person education is a "priority". Importantly, schools will be asked to keep track of which students and staff have been "fully vaccinated".
First, the most important thing schools can do is encourage as many students and staff to get vaccinated as possible.
"Achieving high levels of COVID-19 vaccination among eligible students as well as teachers, staff, and household members is one of the most critical strategies to help schools safely resume full operations," the CDC stated.
Since not all students will be vaccinated by the conclusion of the upcoming school year, authorities should balance promoting vaccination with modified social distancing strategies. For example, all students should maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance inside classrooms. If this isn't possible, then schools should resort to "layered" strategies including frequent testing, ventilation, handqashing and "respiratory etiquette".