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CDC'S new updated guidelines to change physical distancing requirements in school

Posted at 6:03 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-20 01:29:37-04

Children in school may be able to sit a bit closer to their classmates after an announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.

Many schools have already opened for in-person learning throughout both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. Strict guidelines and recommendations were put into place but now with this recent announcement things may change.

The CDC has relaxed its physical distancing requirements for K-12 schools.

The new guidance states students can now be 3 feet apart instead of 6 feet apart from their classmates. All in an effort to allow more students into the classroom.

Schools can also choose to remove things like safety barriers or plastic shields between desks.

Teachers and other school staff must still follow the 6-foot requirement and face masks will still be mandatory.

Some parents are in between the new recommendations.

"I am kind of in the middle.. it is a little bit scary for the kids to be close because you just never know they are around other people but I'm just really glad he is back in class,” Letty Ornelas said.

Whether districts will make the changes is still to be decided.

Following the CDC's announcement Friday, the San Luis Obispo County Superintendent of Schools said in part,

“The CDPH may make adjustments after review, and Dr. Borenstein will update San Luis Obispo County schools on any changes in safety guidelines issued for California.”

The CDC also adds that 6 feet of space should still be maintained in common areas such as school lobbies, lunchtime, or when masks can’t be worn.

For middle and high school students in areas where transmission is high, the CDC recommends they remain six feet apart if co-horting is not possible.

This decision was made after a study was conducted and evidence showed no change in the transmission rate of disease for 3 feet of distancing versus 6 feet.