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North Alabama schools will be impacted as CDC relaxes social distancing guidelines

The CDC says students can sit 3-feet apart instead of 6.

Posted: Mar 21, 2021 10:47 PM
Updated: Mar 22, 2021 9:58 AM

More changes could be made to how your kids are learning.

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it is relaxing social distancing guidelines in schools by allowing kids to sit 3 feet apart instead of 6.

WAAY-31 spoke with one North Alabama superintendent and a parent about why this change seems manageable.

The CDC based its decision off of studies that show smaller children don't spread coronavirus as quickly as adults and older children.

Muscle Shoals City Schools Superintendent Dr. Chad Holden told us this makes him hopeful for more​​ kids in the classroom.

"It makes parents who have not been sending their children to school for in-person learning, that it makes them feel a lot more comfortable, that the transmission rate amongst smaller children is relatively low," he said.

Researchers took a look at some schools who weren't following the 6-foot guideline and they discovered the transmission rate of COVID-19 was low.

So now, the CDC says elementary school aged children can sit 3-feet away from one another.

Huntsville mother Brittany Garner says this will ease some tension between teachers as well.

"It'll be a lot easier for the teachers because there's not as much as pressure to worry about how close the kids are while trying to teach them in different ways. So they can actually learn something and really soak it in," she said.

If there is a high COVID transmission rate in any given area...that school should still maintain 6-feet.

Even though the CDC is relaxing the distance, they say masks should still be worn.

The director of the CDC believes this can allow for more kids to have better mental health and social skills after dealing with so much isolation from friends and family.

"Kids are sitting far for lunch and that's their favorite time of the day is to sit around, eat lunch and talk about everything that's going on," said Garner.

Under the revised guidelines, the CDC says plastic or plexiglass barriers aren't necessary because they're proven to be ineffective in preventing COVID transmission...but​​ masks and cleaning practices should still be done daily.

Dr. Holden says it's important to remember we're not​​ out of the woods just yet.

"When you just start winning the game, you don't pull you starters. You want to get a good, comfortable lead before you do that and I think that's where we are. We need to keep doing what we've been doing that has gotten us to this point and not let our guard down because then we start taking steps backwards and we do not want to do that," he said.

The governor has already stated after April 9, the statewide mask mandate will end and it's up to schools and businesses to keep or do away with the practice.

For Muscle Shoals City Schools, they will be keeping the masks in schools as a requirement.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530744

Reported Deaths: 10978
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson764931522
Mobile40959804
Madison34735503
Tuscaloosa25749452
Montgomery24327589
Shelby23425249
Baldwin21123308
Lee15873171
Calhoun14496314
Morgan14288279
Etowah13826353
Marshall12213223
Houston10561281
Elmore10052205
Limestone9958151
Cullman9659193
St. Clair9652243
Lauderdale9420241
DeKalb8828186
Talladega8220176
Walker7231277
Autauga6918108
Jackson6809112
Blount6656137
Colbert6296134
Coffee5509119
Dale4830111
Russell440738
Chilton4284112
Franklin425682
Covington4118118
Tallapoosa4026152
Escambia393376
Chambers3560123
Dallas3547151
Clarke351061
Marion3116101
Pike310877
Lawrence300298
Winston274272
Bibb260564
Marengo249664
Geneva249477
Pickens234361
Barbour230757
Hale222877
Butler215969
Fayette212262
Henry188744
Cherokee184645
Randolph180141
Monroe177340
Washington167239
Macon158950
Clay156156
Crenshaw152257
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138753
Wilcox127030
Bullock123041
Conecuh110329
Perry107526
Coosa107228
Sumter104432
Greene92334
Choctaw60624
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 852841

Reported Deaths: 12255
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby956561619
Davidson89355933
Knox50675635
Hamilton44280494
Rutherford43046434
Williamson28015217
Sumner24012349
Montgomery20255225
Wilson18804234
Out of TN1840797
Unassigned16998134
Sullivan16794294
Blount15490193
Bradley15032150
Washington14597245
Maury13499172
Sevier13391175
Putnam11396175
Madison11168242
Robertson9756131
Anderson8760172
Hamblen8610173
Greene7877155
Tipton7359103
Coffee6905121
Dickson6840110
Cumberland6734132
Carter6634158
Gibson6526146
McMinn650898
Bedford6506128
Roane6282105
Jefferson6211124
Loudon613069
Hawkins6077107
Lawrence593887
Monroe584095
Warren554881
Dyer5425106
Franklin515090
Fayette506877
Cheatham455355
Obion454196
Cocke450099
Lincoln435763
Rhea434875
Marshall419058
Campbell415463
Weakley412865
Giles3996100
Henderson378976
White364170
Macon361978
Carroll361683
Hardin357167
Hardeman352664
Lauderdale318944
Henry318576
Claiborne318273
Marion312347
Scott312345
Overton301161
Wayne296334
Hickman284046
McNairy282054
DeKalb279654
Smith277839
Haywood271162
Grainger262850
Morgan250139
Trousdale250122
Fentress241547
Johnson240739
Chester214351
Bledsoe214211
Polk207824
Unicoi203549
Crockett203248
Cannon192031
Union190734
Humphreys179927
Grundy179334
Lake170326
Sequatchie169829
Benton166540
Decatur158639
Lewis158126
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Stewart132528
Jackson132036
Clay110131
Houston109333
Perry106628
Moore101117
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Pickett76024
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