Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten Responds to Latest COVID Safety Announcements from CDC Aimed at Keeping Students in Classrooms, Limiting Spread of Variants

For Release:


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement:

“Americans are eager to spend a holiday season without the dark cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic hanging over them. They want their kids to remain in school; they want to be able to travel and see loved ones; and they want their lives to return to normal. Our No. 1 priority remains keeping school buildings open safely for in-person learning. Thankfully, we know—and can access—much more information and take many more precautions to make that happen. 

“Now, particularly in light of the omicron threat, we must redouble our efforts to share that knowledge, and put it into practice: most importantly utilizing vaccines and boosters, and recommitting to the mitigation strategies that work, especially testing, ventilation and indoor masking. The test-to-stay protocol is a promising strategy that can minimize quarantines and keeps students safely in classrooms with their peers and teachers, where they do best. As educators, healthcare professionals and public employees, we commit to working on the frontlines in partnership with the Biden-Harris administration in its effort to get our country boosted and to utilize all the mitigation strategies for keeping our families safe and healthy.

“We yearn to get our lives back to normal. To do so, we must all work together to help our kids recover and thrive, and help our patients and communities survive.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.