CDC Relaxes Classroom Guidelines

The CDC relaxed COVID-19 guidelines for classrooms on Friday.

Video Transcript

- Now at 5:30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is relaxing social distancing recommendations for schools. US health officials now say students wearing a mask can sit as close as 3 feet apart from each other in classrooms.

- Yeah, 3 feet instead of 6 feet. And school officials say it's a welcome change.

- Some changes are coming to classrooms across the country with new guidance from the CDC. The agency now saying, because of new science, instead of 6 feet, it is safe for students to be 3 feet apart.

ALBERTO CARVAHLO: Finally the nation, under its CDC's new guidelines, has come closer to where Miami-Dade has already been.

- The CDC somewhat joining the recommendation already made by the World Health Organization, which said schools should keep kids 1 meter apart.

ALBERTO CARVAHLO: We follow a 1-meter World Health Organization standard, which is equivalent to 3 feet, 3 inches.

- It's welcome news for south Florida school leaders, who think this move from the CDC could bring more kids back. The Broward school superintendent said Friday if they can make the changes, quote, "without adversely affecting students, it will enable more students to return to the classroom for much-needed, traditional face-to-face education."

- With 3 feet, it might entice parents to bring their students back in. They got a place. But also, the teachers and all of our employees getting vaccinated is a relief for everybody.

- Along with the 3 feet recommendation, the CDC on Friday also removed the recommendation for physical barriers, like plastic shields and desks. But even still, masks are key. The CDC says masks still need to be worn across the board in every classroom.

KARLA HERNANDEZ-MATS: While we know that CDC guidelines are going to change as we get more data, more information, what we're asking our community is to please be responsible.

- All right. Well, the CDC, though, is still recommending kids in middle and high school stay 6 feet apart in places where transmission is high. They said this is because older students are more likely exposed to the virus and can then spread it to younger kids. And masks should still be worn during things like lunchtime, band practice, sports, or exercise.