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New CDC guidelines endorse Hawaii DOE’s decision to keep students 3 feet apart

Updated: Mar. 19, 2021 at 5:44 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Under new CDC guidelines, students in the classroom now only need to be 3 feet apart, and Hawaii public schools say they are already one step ahead.

Last week, the state Education Department came to an agreement with the teachers union to allow more students inside the classroom.

Under the agreement and the new guidelines, students can be 3 feet apart in the classroom if they are wearing masks and the school takes other precautions.

However, children still need to maintain 6 feet of distance if masks cannot be worn, like during lunchtime.

”I think it will reassure people in our schools and parents in our community, that the direction that we have been moving with our local Department of Health has been the correct one,” said Board of Education Chairwoman Catherine Payne.

Payne said that with the new guidelines, she hopes all public school students will be welcomed back this fall.

Meanwhile, colleges are still dealing with the 6-foot distancing rule.

“We aren’t certain yet that all of the students will be vaccinated. We don’t know yet what guidance we will be receiving from the CDC and the Department of Health about physical distancing currently with a 6-foot guideline in place,” said David Lassner, the president of the University of Hawaii.

Lassner hopes that all students will be welcomed back in spring 2022.

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