Under pressure, CDC drops school spacing to 3 ft in many classrooms

Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adjusts her protective mask during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, DC. Susan Walsh/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Enlarge / Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adjusts her protective mask during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, DC. Susan Walsh/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

With universal masking, just 3 feet of distancing is safe for students in many classrooms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in updated guidance released on Friday.

According to the new recommendations, elementary schools with universal masking policies are advised to maintain at least 3 feet of distancing between students in classrooms, regardless of the current level of community transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Middle and high schools with universal masking are also advised to maintain at least 3 feet of distancing between students in classrooms if community transmission is currently low, moderate, or substantial. If the community transmission is high and student cohorting/podding is not possible, then distancing of at least 6 feet should be maintained in middle and high school classrooms.

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