ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — New CDC guidelines for schools has some parents shaking their heads.
The agency recently suggested cutting high risk sporting events. One local mom said that her son has missed out on enough while already doing his part to keep others safe, arguing that kids can still be safe while competing in their favorite sports.
“We must all of us do our part to protect our hospitals and our neighbors, and reduce the further spread of this virus,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the omicron variant led to new recommendations from the CDC. The agency suggested last week that schools cancel high-risk sports and extra curricular activities to stop the spread.
However, local parents do not believe that is necessary.
“They’ve encouraged the kids to get vaccinated, their age range allows for that at the high school level. A lot of kids have done that,” said Kristin Denault, a local parent whos son plays basketball. “With the mask wearing, and with the vaccinations, and with the protocols set in-place, I feel like we’re doing the best we can to keep our kids safe, but also honor all those other parts of life.”
Activities outside of the classroom are just as important to students as traditional learning, according to Denault. She said that her son would be devastated if COVID-19 led to the cancellation of more events.
“Having a senior who’s a varsity player, who’s also experiencing getting ready for college, they need this time to grow, be around their peers, they need to compete, they need to stay busy. They need it not only for their physical health, but their mental health,” Denault said. “He wants to have sports, he wants to have prom, he wants to have graduation.”
Walensky said that the agency’s mitigation strategies have proven effective in the past.
“We had a pretty robust delta surge in the fall, and we were able to keep 99% of schools open safely,” Walensky said. “We know what works against COVID-19.”
CDC data showed that more than 99% of counties across the U.S. are at a high-risk for transmission of COVID-19.