MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The CDC released new guidelines for school safety, concerning COVID-19 protocols, Friday. It is now recommending that as long as kids wear a mask, they should maintain at least three feet of distance inside the classroom.
However, in communities where transmission is high, middle and high school students should keep a distance of at least six feet. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention say it’s all based on science.
They cite three studies which say three feet between students in classrooms is safe, where masks are involved.
The CDC recognizes the benefits of in-person learning, so they say it is critical for schools to remain open. Adding that schools should be the last to close, because of COVID-19.
“You’ll be able to put more desks in... you’ll be able to put more students in,” responded Broward Teachers Union President, Anna Fusco.
Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie agrees. He says that easing restrictions will help bring more students into the physical classroom, which superintendents in South Florida have been advocating for months.
“We know much more about the transmission of COVID-19 today than we did a year ago and have learned that health and safety protocols in our schools have successfully reduced spread. Many districts throughout the nation have successfully mitigated transmission using three feet physical distancing while maintaining their other protocols including disciplined mask wearing. If lower physical distancing policies can be adopted in schools without adversely affecting our students, it will enable more students to return to the classroom for a much-needed, traditional face-to-face education,” Runcie agreed.
The new guideline also comes as more and more teachers and staff at schools get access to vaccines.
“The rate of vaccinations of our workforce is probably significantly exceeding the rate of vaccinations for the community as a whole and for the nation,” said Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent, Alberto Carvalho.
Everyone agrees this allows teachers to feel safer back in the classroom.
“I’ve only heard positive experiences of being able to get access to the vaccine, feeling better that they got it,” said Fusco.