Olympia, WA — Today Gov. Inslee and the Washington State Department of Health announced that Washington will align with new CDC guidance around physical distancing in schools.
Under the new guidance, students should maintain at least 3 feet of physical distancing from each other in classrooms. Previous guidance required 6 feet of distance. This change only applies to students; staff should continue to maintain 6 feet of distance from other staff and students.
There are some other circumstances when 6 feet of distance is still required for all students and staff:
• In common areas, such as auditoriums.
• When masks cannot be word, such as when eating.
• During activities when increased exhalation occurs, such as singing, band practice and PE.
When COVID-19 activity is high (more than 200 cases per 100k or test positivity higher than 10%), the state and CDC recommend that middle and high school students are group together and maintain at least 3 feet of distance between each other. When students cannot be grouped together, the CDC and DOH recommend 6 feet of distance.
The state guidance for schools has been reflected to update these changes. See the full guidance here: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/FallGuidanceK-12.pdf