NEW JERSEY -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new relaxed guidelines for schools to navigate reopening in-person instruction amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As of March 19, the CDC recommends students maintain three feet of social distance in classrooms—a decrease from the CDC's original requirement of six feet—as long as mask requirements are still universally enforced in schools.
According to the guidelines, elementary school students are recommended to remain three feet apart.
In middle and high schools, three feet of social distancing in classrooms is the new guideline. The CDC recommends six feet of distance be maintained in common areas like auditoriums or when masks cannot be worn such as when eating or participating in activities that increase exhalations like exercise, according to the CDC.
As for Denville's elementary and middle schools, Superintendent Steven Forte stated, "While the CDC provides guidance for schools, the Denville Department of Health is the local authority on COVID. They may allow for three feet but at this time I have not received guidance."
In further guidance from the CDC, the CDC no longer considers physical barriers such as plastic desk shields necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus in classrooms.
Note: This article has been updated to include a quote from Superintendent Steven Forte.
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