Central Florida school districts reviewing new CDC school guidelines

New recommendation allows desks to be closer

New CDC COVID-19 guidance for schools
New CDC COVID-19 guidance for schools

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Spring break is almost over for most Central Florida students and many will return to the classroom on Monday with new CDC recommendations in place.

The agency announced on Friday it is relaxing its guidelines when it comes to social distancing in schools.

“It found that physical distancing of at least three feet between students could safely be adopted in school students when everyone is wearing a mask at all times,” CDC Director Rochelle Wollensky said.

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However, the CDC said students should still keep six feet apart at sporting events, assemblies, or lunch.

Officials with Orange County Public Schools said they are in the process of reviewing the new guidelines. According to the district’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Procedures Manual, schools should “maintain a maximum distance between desks as possible, even if not able to achieve 6 feet.”

Wendy Doromal, the president of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association, said she is concerned with relaxing restrictions. She adds now isn’t the time to scale back.

“It does depend on so many conditions in the community and what’s happening in each state and because we’re making progress, I think it would be sad if we went back to another surge,” Doromal said.

News 6 reached out to all Central Florida school districts. Many districts are on Spring Break and were unable to answer how they are responding to the new recommendations.

Flagler County schools said they continue to rely on the CDC’s guidance throughout the pandemic. A spokesperson said in an email, “The updated guidance from the CDC regarding social distancing in classrooms allows us to better meet this guidance throughout more of our classrooms on our campuses.”

A Brevard County Schools spokesperson said they will continue to follow CDC guidelines.

“Our classrooms have been arranged to maximize social distancing wherever possible and will continue with our other mitigation protocols,” the spokesperson said in an email.

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