The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update its school guidance, reducing the requirement of six feet distancing in classrooms to three feet, director Rochelle Walensky announced Wednesday.
The updated COVID-19 guidelines, though still calling for six feet of distance between adults and students, in common areas, and when masks are off, are expected to make it easier for schools to reopen, according to NPR. Many schools struggled to meet the old requirement in the past, as they were forced to remove desks, alter students’ schedules and reduce the capacity of classrooms, NBC 7 San Diego reported.
CDC Relaxes Distance Requirements in Schools From 6 to 3 Feet https://t.co/yPP2oZLPup
— NBC 7 San Diego (@nbcsandiego) March 19, 2021
”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 said in her testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s oversight and investigations subcommittee, according to CNBC. (RELATED: CDC Expects More Deadly COVID-19 Variant From UK To Become ‘Dominant Variant’)
Walensky cited a recent study published in the journal “Clinical Infectious Diseases” that found there was almost no difference in the number of COVID-19 cases between schools that adhered to a six feet social distancing and those that required only three feet apart when everyone wore a mask.
“We are looking to update our guidance,” Walensky said, according to the report. “I am entirely with you as that we need to get our children back [to school],” she added.