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Possible Changes to Classroom Distancing Requirements
Possible Changes to Classroom Distancing Requirements
Reta Doland
Friday, March 19, 2021

This morning the CDC announced changes to the social distancing recommendations for schools.  The recommendation is now that students sit 3 ft. apart in most classrooms. It is still recommended that 6ft distance is maintained in common areas.  Here is a link to an article if you would like more detailed information on the CDC recommendation. 

As part of Governor Brown’s remarks at her 11 a.m. press conference this morning, she made the following statement on the CDC’s newly-announced recommendation for 3- feet physical distancing in schools:

“This morning the CDC issued updated guidance for physical distancing in schools. Throughout the pandemic, it has been our intent to align with CDC recommendations, while taking COVID-19 conditions in our state into account. 

 “The Oregon Department of Education and OHA are reviewing the new guidance, including the recommendation that three feet of spacing is sufficient when community transmission of COVID-19 is low. This is welcome news for many school districts. After ODE and OHA update their guidance, school districts will still need to have conversations at the local level to update their plans for a return to in-person instruction, and go through their own decision-making process. I hope this helps get even more kids back in school.”

What this might mean to our schools is not clear yet.  As ODE and OHA continue discussions and provide updates, I will keep you informed. 

The following is what I expect in the near future:

  1. As stated by the governor, OHA and ODE are reviewing the CDC information and will make recommendations for Oregon Schools.  We will wait for those recommendations and the guidance outlined to implement them.

  2. I believe we will see an executive order from the Governor’s office based on the recommendations expected from ODE and OHA.

  3. As a district will need time to plan and implement the new recommendations.  As I have said throughout, this will not be a switch that is flipped.  We will make changes intentionally and carefully.