CDC Scraps 6-Foot Distance, Plastic Shields in New School Safety Guidelines
The CDC updated its recommendations for distancing in schools on Friday — a move that will lead to more flexibility and physical space for students as schools reopen for in-person learning.
The agency now says students’ desks can usually be spaced just 3 feet apart instead of 6 feet. There are some caveats. The 3-foot distance is only enough if masks are universally worn and does not apply to cafeteria seating, common areas, sporting events, assemblies, or places where there is singing. If community spread is high, middle schoolers and high schoolers should increase the distance back to 6 feet.
Additionally, the CDC has removed recommendations for plastic barriers between desks because it has found little evidence of their effectiveness.
In response to the new guidelines, California will immediately reduce the required distance in classrooms to 3 feet, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Department of Public Health said Friday.
CTA President E. Toby Boyd sounded less than thrilled with that decision, calling it another ‘challenge’ that large, urban districts need to contend with.
Read the updated guidelines here.