3-feet social distancing in schools ‘likely will happen’

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Masked students are seen in a first grade classroom in California

A smaller social distancing requirement of 3 feet “likely will happen” when kids go back to school, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday.

Fauci said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is “very carefully” weighing whether the new requirement — reduced from the standard 6 feet — could be implemented in schools.

“I think that likely will happen,” the nation’s top infectious disease expert said on NBC News’ “Today” show.

“There was a good study in the state of Massachusetts in which kids who were wearing masks, they looked at 3 feet versus 6 feet. And they really found no difference.

“So the CDC is analyzing that data very carefully right now. They very well may change. I don’t want to get ahead of them. But they are very much on top of this and looking at that data. So they will reconsider about that distance.”

On Wednesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told lawmakers that the agency was considering amending the social distancing guidelines in a bid to reopen schools faster.

Masked students are seen in a first grade classroom in California
Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

“As soon as our guidance came out, it became very clear that 6 feet was among the things that was keeping schools closed and in that context science evolves,” Walensky told the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations.

Asked whether the social distancing change could have “broader implications,” Fauci replied, “It might.”



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