State officials unveil new COVID safety guidelines for Connecticut schools

State officials unveiled new COVID-19 safety guidelines for Connecticut schools Tuesday.
Officials with the state Department of Education and Department of Health hope the new rules will keep the maximum number of students in the classroom this fall.
Health Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani told News 12 Connecticut that schools will sidestep Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance by allowing students and staff with mild respiratory symptoms to return to class provided they test negative.
"We are encouraging schools to consider the policy of testing your child,” she said. “If they're negative, consider putting a mask on and go to school.”
Measures like mask mandates and co-horting will be left up to the districts, but only encouraged when communities reach an orange or high level of transmission.
Norwalk Deputy Superintendent Dr. Thomas McBryde adds administrators will meet with the local health department weekly to discuss next steps.
“Thankfully we have a huge amount of our population already vaccinated,” he said. “That's a huge plus for us, for our staff and our students."
State officials say vaccination is the No. 1 way to keep kids safe and learning in the classroom. They’re also ordering 5 million more home tests to distribute to school districts and early education programs.