The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today provided updated recommendations to keep children, teachers and staff safe as schools reopen. Updates include:
- Revised physical distancing recommendations of at least three feet between students, rather than the six feet recommended earlier.
- Clarified ventilation requirements in a classroom setting.
- Removed recommendations for physical barriers separating teachers and students.
Schools are instructed to “implement and layer prevention strategies” to avoid the spread of COVID-19, including enhanced cleaning procedures, and should continue to prioritize universal masking and physical distancing, according to the guidelines. Testing routines to identify and limit transmission remain important and teachers and staff should be vaccinated “as soon as possible.”
The updates mirror guidance from the nation’s pediatricians, said Lee Savio Beers, MD, FAAP, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, in a statement. “As a nation, we should be prioritizing helping schools reopen safely so that children and adolescents can benefit from everything that schools provide. I hope this new, detailed guidance from the CDC helps more school districts adopt strategies that enable all