There’s a reason why so many Americans are confused and jaded with the rules governing how we’re supposed to react to mitigation guidance for the COVID-19 pandemic. Top “experts” like Dr. Anthony Fauci went from laughing at the idea of masks last year to recommending two or more masks this year.
Now the CDC has officially given the green light for students to be able to abide by the new standard of 3 feet of social distancing after the 6 feet rule has been in place for over a year. While it could be a boost to getting kids back in the classroom and one step closer to normal, it raises questions as to why all of a sudden 3 feet is ok.
As long as the goalposts keep moving or being altered, many Americans will continue to question what’s going on.
Reuters has the story:
The U.S. government on Friday updated its COVID-19 mitigation guidance, halving the acceptable distance between students who are wearing masks to at least three feet (0.91 m) from at least six feet, potentially easing the path for schools that have struggled to reopen under previous guidelines.
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The new recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a boost to the Biden administration’s goal of reopening in-person learning for millions of public school students without sparking coronavirus outbreaks.
“The revised CDC guidance is a great step,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. It “reflects the fact that schools … are not drivers of infections,” he added.
Many schools continue to teach students remotely more than a year after the novel coronavirus prompted widespread closures across the United States.
The new guidance was based on data from schools in Utah, Missouri and Florida that suggests transmission of COVID-19 in schools is relatively low when precautions such as mask-wearing are employed, including in cases where students do not maintain six feet of distance.
The guidance applies to students from kindergarten through high school and in areas with low, moderate, and substantial community transmission of COVID-19.
Middle and high school students in communities with high levels of COVID-19 should stay six feet apart unless their schoolday contact can be limited to a single small group of students and staff, CDC said.
“I want to emphasize that these recommendations are specific to students in classrooms with universal mask-wearing,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a news conference.
Students should continue to maintain six feet of distance when interacting with teachers and other school staff and when eating, the agency said.
The CDC has been under pressure to relax its guidance to schools to help get students back into classrooms. Walensky said this week the agency was looking at data in part from a recent study in Massachusetts that suggested tighter spacing had not increased virus transmission.
One of the CDC studies released on Friday looked at 20 elementary schools in Utah during a period of high COVID-19 transmission in the broader community. It showed that in-school transmission rates among masked students were low even though they maintained an average distance between seats of only three feet.
Many schools do not have the space in classrooms to maintain six feet between students.
ARTICLE SOURCE : thefederalistpapers.org