New CDC guidelines for schools include no barriers, closer desks

New CDC guidelines for schools include no barriers, closer desks
Posted at 9:59 PM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 23:59:48-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — At Carroll-Oakland School in Lebanon, students have officially returned to full-time in-person learning.

“We do daily temperature checks in the morning. We do symptom checks in the morning as well every day, and then of course there's a mask mandate,” said Principal Jason Dunn.

This comes as the Center for Disease Control issued new safety guidelines. Those Plexiglas barriers are no longer recommended and desks can be at least three feet apart in communities that are not considered high transmission and where universal masks are in place.

It’s something Dunn said the school has been doing all along. “Six feet apart is very unrealistic with every student back. There’s just no possible way we can do that.”

But Carroll-Oakland isn't alone. Metro Public Schools officials also say the six-foot distance wasn't feasible in their classrooms.

“These CDC recommendations really do kind of reflect the latest science on the physical distancing with regards to students in school,” said Professor of Pediatrics at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Dr. Joseph Gigante.

The guidelines do however recommend adults maintain a six-foot distance from each other and between students.

“As far as transmission of coronavirus in schools, it’s more likely to occur from staff to staff- so adult to adult- rather than child to staff or child to child,” said Dr. Gigante.

The CDC still recommends universal masking for all students and faculty.

Over in Williamson County, the district said they will not implement the three-foot rule in its middle or high schools because the CDC has determined Williamson County is a high transmission county.

To read the new CDC guidelines, click here.