White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx during a July 8 briefing at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx told Fox News Wednesday the CDC will put out additional recommendations this week on reopening schools.

Why it matters: The role children play in spreading the novel coronavirus is still not known. Birx said U.S. officials had launched a study of all age groups that she hoped would address this.

"What we need to do, and what we’re really trying to do right now is to really look at what the anti-body levels are already in children under 18. So we're launching a very large Sero survey across all age groups to really understand where has this virus been, who has this infected, who is infectable, and who is transmitting the virus."
— Birx on Fox News
  • Birx said "we know from data today that children do quite well with the virus," but she noted there are "open questions" surrounding whether children under 10 transmit COVID-19 less.
  • A study out of South Korea suggests this is the case, she said. "But I think it really needs to be confirmed here," Birx added, saying she hoped the U.S. study would clarify the matter.

Of note: President Trump said Wednesday he would be "comfortable" with his son and grandchildren returning to school in the fall and claimed that "a lot of people are saying" children don't transmit the virus easily.

  • But the South Korean study Birx referenced found that children and teenagers aged 10 to 19 can spread COVID-19 at least as effectively as adults do.
  • Birx said children with pre-existing conditions "probably should not be in an in school situation where there's active virus circulating."

What's next: Birx told Fox News' Bret Baier school districts needed to plan and be flexible ahead of reopening, with safeguards in place for students and teachers — particularly those with pre-existing conditions who must be accommodated.

  • Some schools are putting up plastic shields and many are providing staff and students with masks, she said.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

23 hours ago - Health

CDC changes "close contact" guidance for COVID-19

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Noam Galai, Jamie McCarthy, Josep LAGO / AFP, Alfredo ESTRELLA / AFP, and Narayan Maharjan/NurPhoto, all via Getty Images

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its definition of who is considered a “close contact” of an individual infected with the coronavirus in a report released Wednesday.

Why it matters: The update is likely to pose challenges for schools, workplaces and other group settings as the U.S. prepares for a third coronavirus wave. It also reinforces the importance of masks in the face of President Trump’s repeated attempts to belittle their efficacy.

17 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did"

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (C) and other guests at the White House Rose Garden ceremony for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Sept. 26. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who was hospitalized with COVID-19, implored people in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday to wear masks "or you may regret it — as I did."

The big picture: Christie didn't wear a mask when he helped President Trump prepare for the first presidential debate nor during the White House Rose Garden ceremony for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett in September. "I let my guard down and left my mask off," Christie wrote in the WSJ article.

Updated 57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!