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NY DOH reduces school distancing to 3 feet

Apr 12, 2021 6:00 am

Michelle Bocanegra is reporting for Politico the New York State Department of Health quietly updated its schools guidance late April 9, cutting in half distancing guidelines to three feet. At the same time, the department emphasized the need to return children to classrooms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its minimum school distancing recommendation to three feet, with the exception of middle and high schools in high transmission areas, one month ago. Counties with low to moderate COVID-19 transmission can now keep their elementary, middle and high school students three feet apart instead of the previous six, according to the state. Elementary schools in high-transmission areas can maintain three feet of distancing between students, but middle and high schools must revert back to six feet where cohorting is not feasible. Cohorting refers to preassigned groups of students who have limited interactions with each other. A slate of exceptions to the new rule includes interactions between adults and between students and adults. The updated state guidance still includes mask-wearing and maximizing opportunities for vaccination of all school personnel and students. The state is urging school districts to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, as circumstances permit. "...[B]ased on the dynamic nature of local community transmission of the COVID-19 virus, a phased-in approach or hybrid model combining in-person instruction and remote/distance learning in cohorts may be necessary at various times through the 2020-2021 school year.” Read the full story at politico [dot] com.