CDC weighs shortening physical distancing guidelines for schools from 6 feet apart to 3

WASHINGTON (KABC) -- A major update to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding schools could change what in-person learning during the pandemic looks like.

The 6-foot distance rule has discouraged schools from reopening classrooms full-time. They've instead relied on a hybrid model - splitting classrooms in half to maintain the proper amount of space between students.

"There was a study out of CID from Massachusetts in a place where there was about 100% mask wearing that 3 feet and 6 feet yielded the same amount of infection," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

"There are now emerging studies on the question between 3 feet and 6 feet. I'm aware of several that will be released in the next several days and we are actively looking at our guidance to update it to address that science," Walensky said.

The Biden administration says the CDC's guidance could be updated from 6 feet to 3 feet by as early as Friday. This comes as the president announced his administration has reached its 100 million shot in 100 days milestone - 42 days early. But, Biden didn't commemorate it by celebrating.

"Now's not the time to let down our guard. In the last week we've seen increases in the number of cases in several states. Scientists have made clear that things may get worse as new variants of this virus spread. Getting vaccinated is the best thing we can do to fight back against these variants," Biden said.

As cases continue to drop in Southern California, the region's reopening is moving forward. Six Flags Magic Mountain announced its plans to reopen to members and passholders on April 1 and 2, and the general public on April 3 at reduced capacity. Safety measures, including advanced technologies like IR thermal imaging, will be used to screen temperatures.
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