Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Schools weigh whether to seat students closer together


March 17, 2021

Elise Amendola, Associated Press

FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2020 file photo, sixth-grade students listen to instruction in class at Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in East Harwich, Mass. U.S. guidelines that say students should be kept 6 feet apart in schools are receiving new scrutiny from federal health experts, state governments and education officials working to return as many children as possible to the classroom. The distancing guidelines have remained a major hurdle for schools as they aim to open with limited space.

BOSTON - New evidence that it may be safe for schools to seat students 3 feet apart - half of the previous recommended distance - could offer a way to return more of the nation's children to classrooms with limited space.

Even as more teachers receive vaccinations against COVID-19, social distancing guidelines have remained a major hurdle for districts across the U.S. Debate around the issue flared last week when a study suggested that masked students can be seated as close as 3 feet apart with no increased risk to them or teachers.

Published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the research looked at schools in Massachusetts, which has backed the 3-foot guideline for months. Illinois and Indiana are also allowing 3 feet of distance, and other states such as Oregon are considering doing the same.


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