The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new strategy called "test-to-stay" that allows unvaccinated children to stay in school even if they have been exposed to the coronavirus, agency Director Rochelle Walensky said on Friday.
"If exposed children meet a certain criteria and continue to test negative, they can stay at school instead of quarantining at home," Walensky said during a press briefing.
Some states are already advising their schools to use "test-to-stay" strategies in order to keep more children in class.
Schools must test their students twice a week to implement the test-to-stay strategy, Walensky said, adding that many schools already meet that standard.
The new guidance comes as the Omicron variant continues to spread in the United States. More than 39 states and 75 countries have reported cases of the new variant, which is highly contagious and infects vaccinated people at elevated rates.
"We expect it to become the dominant strain in the United States, as it has in other countries, in the coming weeks, Walensky said.