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CDC Looks At Whether 3 Feet — Instead Of 6 — Is Safe For Schools’ Social Distancing

Laurel Wamsley, NPR |

A study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases suggests that 3 feet may be as safe as 6 feet, so long as everyone is masked. The authors compared infection rates at Massachusetts schools that required at least 3 feet of distancing with those that required at least 6 feet, and found no significant difference in the coronavirus case rates among students or staff in the two cohorts.

The authors pointed out an important caveat to the findings: It’s possible that districts that allowed a minimum of 3 feet were able to attain larger distances than that in reality – and in that case, the study would be capturing official policy but not its real-world implementation.


Study: Effectiveness of three versus six feet of physical distancing for controlling spread of COVID-19 among primary and secondary students and staff – A retrospective, state-wide cohort study

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