BAKERSFIELD, Calif — The social distance rule of 6 feet apart is no longer the recommendation in schools, officials say that 3 feet of distance is enough to prevent the spreading of the COVID-19.
“The CDC’s change in it’s guidance for distancing in a school setting will not have an immediate impact here locally,” Robert Meszaros with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office said.
This is because according to Meszaros, California school districts must follow the state's department of public health guidelines, which have yet to adopt the CDC’s new change, which allows students to be within 3ft from each other. But, the news of this possible change is exciting for some.
“Now you can bring back virtually everyone who wants to come back, and that is wonderful,” Kelly Richers, Superintendent for Wasco Union Elementary School District said.
The new recommendation states that while students can sit 3 feet apart, when it comes to students and teachers, they still must keep 6 feet of distance from each other, something Richers doesn’t agree with.
“It is very difficult to give assistance when you have to stay 6 feet away from a child especially when the adult has had the opportunity and probably took advantage of it, to be completely vaccinated,” Richers said.
The Wasco Union Elementary School District still has students on a distance learning curriculum, but plan to start bringing back smaller groups to a classroom setting at the beginning of April. If the new social distance recommendation is implemented by the state, Richers believes that his district could double the number of students in a classroom.
“We want to have our children back in school, and this is a very positive sign, it is a sign that the mindsets of many people are going to shift back to ‘let’s get the kids back in school’,” Richers said.
One school district that does have students back in the class is the Panama Buena Vista Union School District. They said in a statement they've learned of the new CDC information but, "will continue to follow the guidance from the state of california until further guidance is provided by the state and local health department.”
While everyone waits for the state guidance, Meszaros looks forward to the possibilities.
“If three feet is ultimately allowed by the state, this will be good news for the schools as it will provide more flexibility for those that are looking to bring more and more students back in the coming weeks and months,” Meszaros said.