CDC changes school guidance, allowing desks to be closer

NEW YORK – Students can safely sit just three feet apart in the classroom as long as they wear masks, but should be kept the usual six feet away from one another at sporting events, assemblies, lunch or chorus practice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday in relaxing its COVID-19 guidelines.

Dr. Linda Yancey, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Memorial Hermann, says the change is good.

“We know how important school is for children on many many levels, but especially for younger kids. It’s socialization, it’s basic skills, it’s in some cases nutrition,” she said.

Robert Schnyder has two kids in elementary school at Fort Bend Independent School District. He says the change is okay with him.

“As long as it’s safe. As long as everyone is following procedures,” Schnyder said.

Jacqueline Johnson says it’s a little to early to change distancing requirements.

“I think they need to accommodate it with the most careful and safest way,” she said.

The revised recommendations represent a turn away from the six-foot standard that has sharply limited how many students some schools can accommodate. Some places have had to remove desks, stagger schedules and take other steps to keep children apart.