Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

CDC relaxes school guidance on social distancing during COVID-19

K-12 schools may reduce classroom desk distances from 6 feet down to 3 feet if community transmission is low-to-moderate, new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.

Why it matters: This could be another incentive for closed schools to feel logistically ready to reopen, especially those with limited space or large class sizes.


The big picture: The basis for the 6-foot guidance recently came into question from experts on the social costs of students not being in the classroom full-time.

  • Schools that have opened at partial or hybrid capacity have been using the 6-foot guidance to teach in larger, open spaces like gymnasiums and cafeterias. But those big spaces can't accommodate every student.
  • Schools should still keep 6 feet distancing in common areas like lobbies and auditoriums or when masks can't be worn like eating, per the guidance.

The state of play: The revision was concluded from several new case studies out Friday on school districts that had low transmission rates with physical distancing of at least 3 feet between students with universal mask use and other mitigation measures.

  • A separate study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that there was no significant difference in infection rates in Massachusetts schools between the two distances when students and staff were masked.

What they're saying: “Safe in-person instruction gives our kids access to critical social and mental health services that prepare them for the future, in addition to the education they need to succeed," CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

  • "These updated recommendations provide the evidence-based roadmap to help schools reopen safely, and remain open, for in-person instruction,” she said.

The other side: American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten told the New York Times this week she would be advocating against the guidance, claiming the motion would be "a debate about convenience, not a debate about safety."

  • “All of a sudden, because we can’t squeeze in every single kid if it’s six feet that miraculously there’s now studies that say three feet are fine. And what’s going to happen is, people are just not going to trust it," she said.

China makes history with successful Mars landing

A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.

Keep reading... Show less

UN: 10,000 Palestinians flee homes in Gaza as Israel-Hamas fighting escalates

The United Nations warned Friday that ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas "has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis," in not only the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, but "the region as a whole."

The big picture: More than 125 Palestinians, including 31 children have been killed in Gaza since fighting began Monday, per the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Seven people, including one child, have been killed in Israel, according to Israeli authorities.

Keep reading... Show less

Bernie Sanders: The U.S. must recognize that "Palestinian rights matter"

The United States must encourage an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East and adopt an "evenhanded approach" that recognizes Palestinians and Israelis have a right to "live in peace and security," Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) wrote in a New York Times opinion on Friday.

Driving the news: Violence escalated this week after Israelis intensified efforts to evict Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem. Hamas fired rockets and Israel massed troops, leaving more than 125 Palestinians and seven people in Israel dead.

Keep reading... Show less

Uber launches new anti-racism efforts, hires new inclusive design lead

Eager to show progress on the pledge to make its platform and business anti-racist, Uber on Friday announced new anti-racism driver and rider campaigns, as well as fresh internal hiring practices, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Uber is one of the biggest ride hailing companies in the world. Its decisions impact the millions that use the platform, where drivers and riders alike say they have experienced racism.

Keep reading... Show less

Ex-Gaetz associate admits to sex trafficking, agrees to cooperate with federal prosecutors

Joel Greenberg, a former associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), agreed to cooperate with federal investigators and admitted to a variety of federal charges including sex trafficking a minor, New York Times reported Friday citing court papers.

Why it matters: Investigators believe Greenberg introduced women to Gaetz for paid sex and are looking into the Florida congressman's alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Greenberg could be a key witness as federal prosecutors decide whether to charge Gaetz.

Keep reading... Show less

White House: User fees for infrastructure deal would "violate" Biden's tax pledge

The White House on Friday said that Republicans' idea to impose user fees for infrastructure spending would "violate" President Biden's promise not to raise taxes on Americans making less than $400,000 annually.

What they're saying: "The president's pledge and his commitment, his line in the sand, his red line, whatever you want to call it, is that he will not raise taxes for people making less than $400,000 a year," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. "User fees that have been proposed out there would violate that."

Keep reading... Show less

City of Columbus, Andre Hill's family agree to $10M settlement over the fatal police shooting

Columbus, Ohio, on Friday reached a $10 million settlement with the family of Andre Hill, an unarmed Black man who was fatally shot by police as he walked out of a garage while holding a cellphone.

What they're saying: "We understand that because of this former officer's actions, the Hill family will never be whole," City Attorney Zach Klein said in a statement. "No amount of money will ever bring Andre Hill back to his family, but we believe this is an important and necessary step in the right direction."

Keep reading... Show less

"Mass Effect": Gaming's biggest space opera returns

The iconic spacefaring adventure "Mass Effect" is back today with "Mass Effect: Legendary Edition," a single, remastered version of all three games.

Why it matters: There is no series like "Mass Effect" — even when it comes to BioWare's other choice-driven RPGs like "Dragon Age." "Mass Effect" is a big ol' space adventure first and foremost, but it’s also about loyalty, love, and tough calls.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories