In a major policy review aimed at encouraging more schools to welcome children back into personalized education, federal health officials Friday relaxed the six-foot distance rule for elementary school students, saying they need to stay only three feet apart in classrooms as long as everyone else. They wear a mask.
Officials said the three-foot rule now also applies to students in middle and high school, as long as the community transmission is not high. However, when the transmission rate is high, these students must be at least six feet apart, unless taught in groups or small groups separate from others.
Officials emphasized that the six-foot rule still applies in society as a whole, and to teachers and other adults who work in schools, who must maintain that distance from other adults and students. Most schools already operate at least partially in person, and evidence suggests they do so relatively safely. Research shows that the spread of disease in school can be mitigated with simple safety measures such as concealment, spacing, hand washing, and window opening.
“The dynamics of transmission are different for older students – that is, they are more likely to be exposed and spread to SARS-CoV-2 than younger children,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.
Teacher unions across the country vigorously argued for the six-foot distance, pressing the CDC and the Biden administration to maintain the previous directive.
On Friday, Randy Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the nation’s second-largest union of teachers, issued a statement saying it would reserve judgment on the new spacing guidelines pending further review to research how the virus behaves in school. Settings. Becky Pringle, president of the largest teachers’ union, the National Education Association, raised similar concerns.
However, the statement from the CDC lags behind some local health agencies across the country. Illinois Massachusetts has already indicated that three feet could work in schools. District health officials also played an important role in guiding the decisions of school boards and supervisors, who are often overshadowed by conflicting public health guidelines.
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Dr Rochelle Walinsky, director of the CDC, explained that the agency is always working to update its guidance as new evidence becomes available. a A recent study In Boston, you found no statistically significant differences in the number of injuries in Massachusetts school districts that adopted the three-foot rule, compared to those requiring a six-foot distance. Additional studies were also released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) examining safety in schools on Friday.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is committed to driving with science and updating our guidance as new evidence emerges,” said Dr. Walinsky. “These updated recommendations provide an evidence-based roadmap to help schools reopen safely, and remain open to personalized education.”
The new directive confirms this Good air flow and ventilation in school buildings It is a critical component in maintaining a safe environment, and it continues to emphasize multiple layers of preventive behaviors including blanket concealment, hand washing, building cleaning and contact tracing, in addition to isolation and quarantine.
Officials said adults in schools should stay six feet away from other adults and students. The six-foot rule still applies in public areas of schools such as lobbies and halls, whenever students eat or drink and cannot wear a mask, and during activities that involve more exhalation – such as singing, shouting, band practice, sports, or any exercise, activities. Which “should be moved outside or to large well-ventilated areas whenever possible.”