Accountability Health Safety Science

UTLA: The CDC Guidelines Do Not Meet Needs of Urban Districts

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The United Teachers of Los Angeles are not satisfied with the new CDC guidelines:

Feb. 12, 2021

For immediate release

UTLA Media Contact: Anna Bakalis / 213-305-9654 / [email protected]

UTLA Statement on new CDC guidelines for returning to in-person instruction

We applaud the CDC’s efforts for a national strategy to return to in-person instruction, but the new guidelines released on February 12 do not do enough to address the specific challenges of large urban school districts like LAUSD. And most troubling is that it does not require vaccinations for school staff, six-foot distancing in all schools, nor improved ventilation as a key mitigation measure. 

We reiterate that the path to a safe reopening must include: vaccines for all educators and school staff, multi-tiered mitigation strategies (such as COVID testing, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, and isolation/quarantine procedures) and lowered community transmission rates — LA County must be out of the purple tier. 

On the same day as the CDC released its new guidelines, LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom, calling for the immediate reopening of K-6 classrooms, even without proper funding for mitigation measures nor vaccinations for school staff. It’s clear that political pressure is rising to force a return to in-person instruction. Without important health and safety protocols in place, we know whose lives will be on the line — the low-income communities of color disproportionately impacted by illness and death from the virus.

We ask those like Barger who are pushing to reopen in the purple tier and without lowered community transmission rates: How many infections and deaths are considered ‘safe?’

While LA educators want nothing more than to be back in classrooms, the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County is still too high. 

UTLA remains committed to the health and safety of our students and our communities.

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UTLA, the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union local, is proud to represent more than 35,000 teachers and health & human services professionals in district and charter schools in LAUSD

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