UPDATED 9:52 AM PT – Monday, August 22, 2022
Despite parents being concerned about their children going back to school amid coronavirus and monkeypox outbreaks, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said he’s optimistic about the upcoming school year.
During an interview on Sunday, Cardona said making sure kids are safe in school is a top priority. He highlighted the administration’s push to increase vaccination efforts.
As we head #BackToSchool, the administration is laying out key supports for protecting students, teachers, & schools this upcoming year.
☑️ Vaccines & Boosters
☑️ Free Testing Clinics
☑️ Improved Air Quality
☑️ Guidance for Managing Exposure https://t.co/eaFFDmwPg1
— Secretary Miguel Cardona (@SecCardona) August 21, 2022
The Education Secretary also asserted that he’s spoken to White House COVID coordinator, Doctor Ashish Jha and to the CDC director, Rochelle Walensky. He noted that they are both optimistic for the upcoming school year as well.
“I want families thinking about how this year is gonna be a better year than last year,” Cardona said. “We have better tools, better resources and we should expect a better school year for our students and our families.”
The Education Secretary said that families shouldn’t be worried about monkeypox and they have the tools needed to keep kids safe in schools.
This comes after the CDC recently admitted that they botched their COVID-19 response. The CDC admitted its fault following an internal review that found that the agency takes too long to publish its data and that its guidance is confusing.
The monkeypox outbreak started in the United Kingdom back in May. The Biden administration declared it a public health emergency earlier this month. As of August 18, the US has reported more than 14,000 confirmed cases nationwide. Doctor Caroline Schrodt, from The Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology at the CDC, recently spoke on how one can contract the virus.
“In the current monkeypox outbreak, those with monkeypox disease are generally describing close sustained physical contact with other people who have monekypox. CDC is not receiving reports of monkeypox transmission without close physical contact,” Schrodt said. “While many of those affected in the current global outbreak are gay, bisexual or (are) men who have sex with other men, not all cases fall into these categories and anyone can catch monkeypox if (they) have close contact with someone who has monkeypox regardless of gender identity or their sexual orientation.”
A recent government study suggested the monkeypox virus can linger on several common household objects, such as couches, light switches or blankets for days, but it noted that the risk of infection is low.