FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield says it’s important to keep schools open despite a rise in COVID-19 cases, so children can keep learning face-to-face.

“Although some people still want to knee-jerk back into school closures or virtual learning. I think that’s a big mistake,” Redfield said.

Redfield praised Arkansas for its stance on keeping kids inside the classroom.

“I mean your governor in Arkansas was a big leader in keeping schools open,” Redfield said. “You know, I wish, as a CDC director, a lot of other governors followed his lead.”

Redfield says parents should have confidence in the CDC’s recommendations and its test-to-stay program.

It allows close-contacts who test negative for the virus to continue their in-person learning rather than be sent home.