Perspective | Kids don’t need to keep six feet apart in schools. Three feet is just as safe.
(WASHINGTON POST) – A year ago, as a rapidly spreading and relatively unknown new coronavirus was declared a global pandemic, schools across the country closed. Most of them stayed closed for the duration of the past academic year. The decision to close schools and keep children at home was based on a variety of factors, including limited knowledge about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19, and how it transmits. National policy decisions were largely based on data adapted from influenza models, in which children, and schools in particular, were major drivers of previous viral outbreaks.
Many schools are still closed. But we have learned a lot about SARS-CoV-2 and how it spreads since schools closed last March. It is time to adapt based on what we know now — including modifying infection-control policies that are unnecessarily stringent, are no longer informed by the best available evidence and keep students out of classrooms nationwide.