HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Today, new guidelines for schools around the country are going into effect from the CDC.
The biggest change, students can now sit 3 feet apart instead of 6 if they keep the mask on.
These recommendations can go into effect today, but that that doesn’t necessarily mean they will.
The timeline for many districts is still up in the air. The state health department is reviewing these new guidelines to see how this would affect the communities
Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health says the goal is to continue to protect everyone in the school system.
The latest guidelines state that elementary schools should switch to 3 feet in the classroom no matter the severity of spread in that community. However, middle and high schools should only switch to 3 feet in communities where the spread is low.
Right now in north Alabama, that would include every county but DeKalb and Colbert.
Landers says ADPH was expecting these changes and the biggest thing right now is making sure the health department and school systems are communicating and staying on the same page.
“Keep in mind that these studies were done with mitigation standards in place and specifically with the use of masks,” says Landers.
Some other updates to the guidelines: The CDC removes the recommendation for physical barriers and they are suggesting to keep students and teachers in the same groups throughout the day.