The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States announced this Friday that relax physical distance requirements for children in school: from the current two meters they went to recommend a meter of separation.
The change in orientation will allow more students to be inside the classrooms, the CDC said.
The recommendations come with a few caveats: masks are still mandatory, and teachers and other school personnel must follow the two-meter guidelines.
The new guidelines will allow schools more flexibility, the CDC said. Photo: EFE
The new guidelines also remove shield recommendations plastic or other barriers between desks. “We don’t have much evidence of its effectiveness” in preventing transmission, said Greta Massetti, who leads the CDC’s community intervention area.
He advises leaving at least one meter of space between benches in primary schools, even in towns and cities where community spread is high, provided that students and teachers wear masks and take other precautions.
The separation can also be one meter in secondary schools, as long as there is not a high level of spread in the community. If there is, the space must be at least 2 meters.
On the other hand, the CDC pointed out that keep a distance of 2 meters in common areas, such as school lobbies, and when masks cannot be worn, such as when eating.
In addition, students must continue to two meters away in situations where there are many people talking, singing, or cheering for a team, since these are episodes in which they can expel drops that contain the coronavirus. This includes the choir rehearsals, assemblies, and sporting events.
The change comes amid a massive push to get kids back into the classroom, from lawmakers to parents.
Multiple studies have shown a increased depression and anxiety among children during the pandemic.
And a poll from NBC News and Challenge Success, a nonprofit affiliated with the Stanford Graduate School of Education, found lower stress levels among students who have been able to spend time in the classroom, compared to their peers who exclusively do virtual learning.
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