Tags: Coronavirus | schools | cdc | physical distancing

CDC Expected to Lower Physical Distancing Guidelines for Schools, From 6 to 3 Feet

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By    |   Thursday, 18 March 2021 02:49 PM

Students and teachers will only have to physically distance 3 feet when they return to in-person classes, according to updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expected to be released Friday, reports CNN.

The current CDC recommendation of 6 feet limits the number of students that can fit in a classroom.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday, during a hearing before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s oversight and investigations subcommittee on increasing COVID-19 vaccinations, said the CDC was working on updating the guidance.

"As soon as our guidance came out, it became very clear that 6 feet was among the things that was keeping schools closed, and in that context, science evolves," Walensky testified.

"There has been one study that was published late last week that demonstrated in Massachusetts, where there is generally 100% mask-wearing, that 3 feet was actually safe," she said.

"We are looking to update our guidance," Walensky said, adding, "I am entirely with you as that we need to get our children back [to school]."

The study, published in Clinical Infectious Disease, found that COVID-19 case rates were similar in 242 districts whether the districts required physical distancing of 3 feet or 6 feet.

The research concluded: "Lower physical distancing policies can be adopted in school settings with masking mandates without negatively impacting student or staff safety."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official and President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, was asked about the study Sunday.

"What the CDC wants to do is they want to accumulate data and when the data shows that there is an ability to be 3 feet they will act accordingly," Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper. "I can assure you within a reasonable amount of time, quite reasonable, they will be giving guidelines according to the data they have."

Another study published in the Lancet last year supported physical distancing of 3 feet provided that people use face masks.

The CDC is reviewing several other unpublished studies on shorter social distancing guidelines as it revises its own recommendations, said Walensky.

"Indeed, because six feet has been such a challenge there, science has leaned in and there are now emerging studies on the question between three feet and six feet," Walensky told Sen. Susan Collins during a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Thursday.

"This is an urgent issue," she added.

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Students and teachers will only have to physically distance 3 feet when they return to in-person classes, according to updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expected to be released Friday...
schools, cdc, physical distancing
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2021-49-18
Thursday, 18 March 2021 02:49 PM
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