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Lee Schools Pandemic Task Force to discuss moving students closer together in classrooms

Posted at 8:24 AM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 22:26:03-04

FORT MYERS, Fla -- The School District of Lee County’s Pandemic Task Force will meet Wednesday to talk about new federal safety guidelines for in-person learning.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that students can sit closer together in classrooms. It decreases the social distancing recommendation from six to three feet.

Wednesday’s meeting will be the first time the task force gets together to review and discuss the guidelines and decide whether to implement them on a local level.

The CDC said students should still wear masks. The three-feet recommendation is only for when students are in class, with the goal of getting more kids back into the building. Right now, 80% of students are learning in-person in Lee County. When it comes to things like lunch and common areas, the six-feet rule would still apply. The same goes for things like band practice and gym.

While students can be closer to each other, they still have to stay six-feet from teachers.

The new guidelines come as President Joe Biden's School and Childcare Staff COVID-19 Vaccination Month continues. Educators are being prioritized with the goal of getting them their first shots by the end of this month. Both efforts go hand-in-hand to help get schools back to normal.

Since Florida schools were among the first to reopen, they played a big role in shaping these new CDC recommendations. Statewide data shows that in most cases, children who have had COVID in Florida did not get it at school. In fact, about 1% of school aged children have had the virus. There's no evidence to suggest that COVID spreads more quickly in schools than anywhere else.