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Jen Austin

10:00 am 2:00 pm

Current show

Jen Austin

10:00 am 2:00 pm


Author: COVID-19 NEWS

Introduction
It is critical for schools to open as safely and as quickly as possible for in-person learning. Schools play an important role in children’s educational achievement, health, and wellbeing. Working with state, tribal, local, and territorial health officials, schools can also play an important role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring that children have a safe and healthy learning environment.
As a parent, guardian, or caregiver, you may have the option to choose between in-person, virtual, or a hybrid mode of learning for your child(ren). You can review your school or school district’s plans to understand the steps they are taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to support your child’s education. See CDC’s Considerations for Schools to learn more about potential strategies schools may implement to slow the spread of COVID-19. Your choice of learning format may be based on whether your child or a household member is at increased risk of severe illness, how many cases of COVID-19 are in your community, your child’s academic and social-emotional needs, and your family’s or household’s needs. Schools provide important services and support for children’s academic, social-emotional, and physical health. The benefits of in-person learning and services should be weighed against the risks of COVID-19 for your child and your household.
Information on the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, including among children, is available from CDC’s COVID Data Tracker. For more information on COVID-19 and Children visit Children, Teens, and Young Adults.
Household Members and COVID-19
It is important to understand how to avoid getting sick when any household member participates in in-person activities, including in-person learning. Because children can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, parents, guardians, and caregivers should consider whether their child(ren) or other household members are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when making decisions about in-person school and other activities. If a household includes someone who is at increased risk for severe illness, then all household members should act as if they, themselves, are at increased risk.
If your child or a member of your family has been diagnosed with COVID-19, please follow CDC’s guidelines and stay at home until the criteria to discontinue home isolation have been met.
Household and Community Risks for COVID-19
You can fill out this chart to determine the risk for your child, members of your household, and your child’s caregivers. If you select “Yes” for #1 or #2, your child might be at increased risk for getting COVID-19 by participating in in-person school. If you select “Yes” for #3 or #4, your child or household member might be more likely to develop severe illness from COVID-19. If you select “Yes” for any items, you may want to consider virtual/at-home learning options for your child. If you select “Don’t Know,” consider finding out the answers by looking at your local health department webpage and CDC webpages, or consulting with your household members’ healthcare providers.

Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
You will be subject to the destination website’s privacy policy when you follow the link.
CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on other federal or private website.

For more information on CDC’s web notification policies, see Website Disclaimers.

The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Safety is a top priority while federal partners work to make this and other COVID-19 vaccines available.

Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for two COVID-19 vaccines which have been shown to be safe and effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. These data demonstrate that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19).
Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are being conducted to evaluate additional COVID-19 vaccines in many thousands of study participants. These trials will generate scientific data and other information that will be used by FDA to determine vaccine safety and effectiveness. Clinical trials on all COVID-19 vaccine candidates are being conducted according to the rigorous standards set forth by FDA in their June 2020 guidance document, Development and Licensure of Vaccines to Prevent COVID-19external icon. If FDA determines that a vaccine meets its safety and effectiveness standards, it can make these vaccines available for use in the United States by approval or through an EUA.
After FDA determines that a COVID-19 vaccine candidate is safe and effective, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a committee comprising medical and public health experts, reviews available data before making vaccine recommendations to CDC. Learn more about how CDC is making COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.
Vaccine Safety Monitoring
After a vaccine is authorized or approved for use, many vaccine safety monitoring systems watch for adverse events (possible side effects). This continued monitoring can pick up on adverse events that may not have been seen in clinical trials. If an unexpected adverse event is seen, experts quickly study it further to assess whether it is a true safety concern. Experts then decide whether changes are needed in U.S. vaccine recommendations. This monitoring is critical to help ensure that the benefits continue to outweigh the risks for people who receive vaccines.
FDA’s June 2020 guidance document also includes important recommendations for ongoing safety evaluation after any COVID-19 vaccine is made available in the United States.
CDC has expanded safety surveillance through new systems and additional information sources, as well as by scaling up existing safety monitoring systems.
Expanded Safety Monitoring Systems
The following systems and information sources add an additional layer of safety monitoring, giving CDC and FDA the ability to evaluate COVID-19 vaccine safety in real time and make sure COVID-19 vaccines are as safe as possible:
CDC: V-safe — A new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe uses text messaging and web surveys from CDC to check in with vaccine recipients following COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe also provides second vaccine dose reminders if needed, and telephone follow up to anyone who reports medically significant (important) adverse events.
CDC: National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) — An acute and long-term care facility monitoring system with reporting to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System or VAERS that will allow for determination of COVID-19 vaccine adverse event reporting rates.
FDA: Other large insurer/payer databases — A system of administrative and claims-based data for surveillance and research.
Existing Safety Monitoring Systems
As people get vaccinated, CDC, FDA, and other federal partners will use the following existing, robust systems and data sources to conduct ongoing safety monitoring:
General public
CDC and FDA: Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)external icon — The national system that collects reports from healthcare professionals, vaccine manufacturers, and the public of adverse events that happen after vaccination; reports of adverse events that are unexpected, appear to happen more often than expected, or have unusual patterns are followed up with specific studies
CDC: Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) — A network of nine integrated healthcare organizations across the United States that conducts active surveillance and research; the system is also used to help determine whether possible side effects identified using VAERS are actually related to vaccination
CDC: Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Project — A collaboration between CDC and 7 medical research centers to provide expert consultation on individual cases and conduct clinical research studies about vaccine safety
FDA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Medicare data — A claims-based system for active surveillance and research
FDA: Biologics Effectiveness and Safety System (BEST)external icon — A system of electronic health record, administrative, and claims-based data for active surveillance and research
FDA: Sentinel Initiativeexternal icon — A system of electronic health record, administrative, and claims-based data for active surveillance and research
Members of the military
Veterans
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): VA Adverse Drug Event Reporting System (VA ADERS)external icon — A national reporting system for adverse events following receipt of drugs and immunizations
VA Electronic Health Record and Active Surveillance System — A system of electronic health record and administrative data for active surveillance and research
Tribal nations
Indian Health Service (IHS): IHS VAERS dataexternal icon — Spontaneous adverse event reporting to VAERS for populations served by IHS and Tribal facilities
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To reduce introduction and spread of new variants of SARS-CoV-2, CDC issued an Order pdf icon[PDF – 9 pages] effective January 26, 2021. It requires all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested for COVID-19 infection no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. For more information on this testing requirement, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
You will be subject to the destination website’s privacy policy when you follow the link.
CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on other federal or private website.

For more information on CDC’s web notification policies, see Website Disclaimers.

Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
You will be subject to the destination website’s privacy policy when you follow the link.
CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on other federal or private website.

For more information on CDC’s web notification policies, see Website Disclaimers.

In April 2020, CDC introduced the COVIDTracer tool, which allows users to explore the impact of up to 3 user-defined contact tracing strategies in their own jurisdictions and to assess the personnel and time that will be needed to effectively execute the strategies.
NEW! In December 2020, CDC introduced the COVIDTracer Advanced tool, which extends this capability by allowing users to distinguish the impact of interventions by three age groups in terms of changes in the numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as changes in direct medical costs.

COVIDTracer and COVIDTracer Advanced are spreadsheet-based tools that allow state- and local-level public health officials and policy makers to compare the effectiveness, and the resources needed, of three user defined contact tracing and monitoring strategies.
Both tools allow you to estimate the potential effectiveness of each of the three strategies, the average number of contacts per case, and the time needed for case interviews and contact tracing follow-up activities. Then, you can compare the potential effectiveness of each strategy to a baseline situation. A baseline situation includes ongoing non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as mask wearing and limiting public events.
To use COVIDTracer or COVIDTracer Advanced you must provide information for your local area, including
Details about the population
Number of cases to date
Number of cases in the past 14 days
Number of contacts per case
Expected number of hours contact tracers will work per day
COVIDTracer and COVIDTracer Advanced Features
The Table below lists the features of COVIDTracer and COVIDTracer Advanced.
Both tools, as described earlier, allow you to estimate the potential effectiveness of each of three contact tracing strategies.
Additionally, COVIDTracer Advanced allows users to account for age-based differences in adherence to and effectiveness of community-based interventions as well as changes in the numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations by age group. COVIDTracer Advanced also allows a user to estimate age-stratified direct medical costs associated with COVID-19 hospitalizations, providing information on direct medical costs associated with interventions.
Table: COVIDTracer and COVIDTracer Advanced Features

COVIDTracer

COVIDTracer Advanced

Intended audience

COVIDTracer

State and local public health officials

COVIDTracer Advanced

State and local public health officials

COVIDTracer

Compare impact of 3 contact tracing/monitoring strategies
Estimate resources needed for case interviews and contact follow-up

COVIDTracer Advanced

Same functions as COVIDTracer, PLUS the following new, additional functions:
Cases and hospitalizations broken down into 3 different age groups
Determine total number of hospitalizations averted
Calculate amount of direct medical costs saved

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FAQ
Can COVIDTracer be used to accurately estimate the impact of COVID-19?
COVIDTracer and COVIDTracer Advanced numbers are NOT predictions of what will occur during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather, they are designed to aid public health officials in planning and preparing for contact tracing of COVID-19 cases.
Can users change the input variables?
Yes. When you download and open COVIDTracer or COVIDTracer Advanced, all inputs are pre-populated with numbers and estimates based on the best available data, wherever possible (for instance, peer-reviewed studies, expert opinion, and pre-print manuscripts). You can change the values in the white cells in either tool, inputting values that best show the situation in your area. Further, we encourage you to change input values and explore the impact of various scenarios and assumptions (e.g., hours spent to initially interview a case). In both tools you can click the yellow information buttons on each page to see definitions and explanations. If you want to return to the default settings, click the “Reset to Default Values” button. Additional explanations are provided in the accompanying manuals, which can be downloaded using the links below.
Do you have to use all the new features of COVIDTracer Advanced?
No. You can select those additional features in COVIDTracer Advanced that you wish to use. For example, for a given set of intervention scenarios, you may wish to only examine the potential reduction in cases disaggregated into 3 different age groups, and the impact on the number of hospitalizations averted. You can ignore the inputs and outputs associated with the estimates of potentials savings of direct medical costs due to any reduction in hospitalizations.
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System Requirements
Both COVIDTracer and COVIDTracer Advanced use the Windows* operating system (Microsoft Windows 2010 or higher) and Excel (Microsoft Office 2013 or higher). The full functionality of both COVIDTracer and COVIDTracer Advanced are supported in the desktop version of Microsoft Office® for Windows. Some functionality is not available in Microsoft Office for Macs or in the browser version of Office 365.
*Microsoft Windows and Office are copyrighted products produced by Microsoft Corporation, WA. The use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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Download the Files
You can select to download COVIDTracer or COVIDTracer Advanced using the links below. We recommend downloading and saving the downloaded spreadsheet tool (whichever you have chosen) to your computer, then opening the spreadsheet from your computer. This will allow the spreadsheet to open in Excel instead of in your web browser.
Links for downloading

COVIDTracer

COVIDTracer Advanced

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Load, Start, and Navigation
Open the COVIDTracer or the COVIDTracer Advanced spreadsheet (whichever you downloaded) and click the box at the top of the document that says, “Enable Macros,” or “Enable Content” (depending on version of Excel being used).
After enabling macros, click the “Start” button on the cover page to start navigating the tool.
If you encounter any issues, contact HEMU@cdc.gov with a subject line [COVIDTracer/ COVIDTracer Advanced tool inquiry].
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Close

Summary of Guidance for Public Health Strategies to Address High Levels of Community Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and Related Deaths, December 2020COVID-19 pandemic control requires a multipronged application of evidence-based strategies while improving health equity: universal face mask use, physical distancing, avoiding nonessential indoor spaces, increasing testing, prompt quarantine of exposed persons, safeguarding those at increased risk for severe illness or death, protecting essential workers, postponing travel, enhancing ventilation and hand hygiene, and achieving widespread COVID-19 vaccination coverage. Read the full report.