Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky presented data Friday aimed at keeping children safe and providing the “tools necessary to get schools reopened and keep them open.”

The country has made “tremendous progress,” using key strategies for reducing risk, including vaccination, masking, increasing ventilation and testing, Walensky said at a CDC news briefing. The CDC has also updated its recommendations on how students, teachers and staff isolate after infection or quarantine after exposure, reducing the recommended period to five days.

Still, there were words of caution. Children have been hospitalized with covid-19 at lower rates than adults, but with the omicron variant, they are being hospitalized “at the highest rate compared to any other point in pandemic,” Walensky said. Scientists are still learning about omicron — including whether the increase in hospitalizations among children reflects a greater burden of disease in their communities or their lower rates of vaccination.

Here’s what to know

  • Conservative Supreme Court justices on Friday appeared skeptical that the Biden administration has legal authority to impose a broad vaccination-or-testing requirement on large employers.
  • The U.S. economy added 199,000 jobs in December, according to the Labor Department, missing economists’ forecasts of about 420,000 jobs.
  • The White House is finalizing details with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver 500 million coronavirus test kits to households across the country.