US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said there is "no reason our schools should be going remote fully," but in order to protect students, teachers and families, everyone needs to do their part and practice mitigation strategies that are proven to work.
"Back at a time we didn't have vaccines, we lost so many lives, and I believe that precautions that we took were necessary, but we're a year removed from that. We know what works. We know how to protect ourselves," Cardona told CNN on Tuesday.
"We need to keep our kids in the classroom," he added.
Cardona said while a lot of things about the pandemic have changed in the last year and a half, things like masking and other preventive measures are still effective.
He encouraged parents to have conversations with their children and remind them of the importance of practicing these things.
"We can all do our part so that our schools stay open full-time," he said.
Cardona also praised the Biden administration for prioritizing vaccines for educators and now for taking steps to improve access to testing. He said the Department of Education is working with its partners at the Department of Health and Human Services to make sure tests are available for schools.
"Student safety, staff safety is the number-one priority, but, yes, our children need to be in school. We know how to keep them safe. We have a year's worth of experience," he said.