The Centers for Disease Control has relaxed yet another recommendation for K-12 schools, making the argument for not bringing students back for in-person learning weaker.
In recent revised changes made to the operational strategy guide, the CDC changed the basic social distance guidelines.
“Revised physical distancing recommendations to reflect at least 3 feet between students in classrooms and provide clearer guidance when a greater distance (such as 6 feet) is recommended,” the summary of recent changes stated as of Friday.
Another major revision includes the recommendation for “physical barriers,” like plexiglass, being removed.
Teachers, school staff, & childcare workers are eligible to get vaccines to help protect them against #COVID19. CDC’s new toolkit for educational leaders includes resources, ideas, & materials to help communicate to staff the benefits of vaccination. More: https://t.co/QAfUfc77Da pic.twitter.com/0ezDDsATJc
— CDC (@CDCgov) March 19, 2021
This comes after a study by the agency that confirms that children and teachers in schools do not necessarily pose a higher risk to community transmission than other facilities or activities.
“CDC is committed to leading with science and updating our guidance as new evidence emerges,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said, according to The Washington Examiner.
“These updated recommendations provide the evidence-based roadmap to help schools reopen safely, and remain open, for in-person instruction.”
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By making the requirement three feet as opposed to six feet, schools could potentially reopen in terms of logistics physically. However, this guideline being lifted is no indicator that some teacher unions and districts will budge to fully reopen anytime soon.
“The CDC’s shift from 6 feet of physical distance in schools to only 3 is rash & based on a flawed report. Educators are voting on an agreement with LAUSD that would lock in the 6 feet, which has been the trusted safety standard since the pandemic began,” Unified Teachers Los Angeles tweeted Friday.
The CDC’s shift from 6 feet of physical distance in schools to only 3 is rash & based on a flawed report. Educators are voting on an agreement with LAUSD that would lock in the 6 feet, which has been the trusted safety standard since the pandemic began https://t.co/Dl6vQuZEKq
— United Teachers Los Angeles (@UTLAnow) March 19, 2021
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announces relaxed social distancing guidelines for schools, saying most students can now sit 3 feet apart instead of 6 feet. pic.twitter.com/WXoCoFoztt
— The Recount (@therecount) March 19, 2021
Los Angeles Unified School District finally came to an agreement earlier this month with the teachers union to return to hybrid instruction in mid-April for elementary schools, The Los Angeles Times reported.
But middle schools and high schools in Los Angeles might have to wait until late April or May, which is essentially pointless given the fact that the school year is almost over.
As we plan to reopen LA Unified campuses, families have a choice on how their child will complete the rest of the semester – in-person or online. Please complete https://t.co/YgDg7yvwv3 by Friday, Mar. 19. https://t.co/5SHND9wSXK https://t.co/ohAwMFC34O pic.twitter.com/7iaVK4auIi
— Los Angeles Unified (@LASchools) March 18, 2021
The battle over schools reopening occurring between parents, school districts and unions have been ongoing for months in many areas, especially major metropolitan places considered coronavirus hot spots.
As more Americans get vaccinated and cases continue to drop, parents and students should remain hopeful that schools will be open for full in-person learning by next year nationwide.
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