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Children retrieve bagged lunches in their classroom in Columbia, Miss. Photo: Oliver Contreras/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The American Academy of Pediatrics said Monday there should be "universal masking" of students older than 2 years old when school returns, regardless of vaccination status.

The big picture: The AAP says they are making the recommendation because a "significant portion of the student population is not yet eligible for vaccines," and if masks are used, "opening schools generally does not significantly increase community transmission."

  • In addition to universal masking, the APP recommends that more COVID-19 testing and mental health resources be made available.

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2021 - World

Senators launch probe into U.S. electronics firm's use of Uyghur labor

Placards outside the Chinese embassy in London. Photo: Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images

A trio of bipartisan senators sent a letter to Universal Electronics demanding the Nasdaq-listed company provide details on an alleged deal it struck with Chinese authorities to transport hundreds of Uyghur workers from Xinjiang to a plant in southern China.

Why it matters: The U.S. government has warned that businesses with supply chains and investments in Xinjiang, where China is accused of carrying out a genocide against Uyghur and other Muslim minorities, run a "high risk" of violating U.S. laws on forced labor.

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

FDA authorizes mix-and-match for COVID booster shots

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday gave its approval for Americans to get booster shots that are different from the COVID vaccine they initially received.

Why it matters: The recommendation from the FDA, which also authorized booster shots for people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Wednesday, paves the way for an expansion of booster shots.

Updated 6 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.