The Pennsylvania Department of Health and Education on Tuesday announced updated guidance for K-12 schools to match Centers for Disease Control guidance for social distancing and COVID-19 cases.
According to the new guidance, 3 feet of social distancing is required instead of 6 feet, unless a county is experiencing substantial community transmission.
In that case, high school students should be 6 feet apart.
Every student should still wear a mask.
Additionally, the DOH recommends 6 feet between adults when masks can’t be worn, and during activities like singing, band or sports.
Said Acting Secretary of Education Noe Ortega in a press release, “Our updated recommendations bring us a step closer to a full return to in-person teaching and learning across Pennsylvania. While recommendations on physical distancing, closures, and quarantines may have changed, the importance to adhering to all health and safety guidelines has not – it is imperative that we remain committed to protecting our students, teachers, and staff.”
There are also new recommendations for how school administrations should handle confirmed COVID-19 cases in buildings.
The recommendations for the number of days to close after confirmed cases is reduced to one to two days from three to seven days, and five days, down from 14 days.
The Wolf administration also announced that they are ahead of schedule on the teacher vaccine initiative plan, and are nearly finished vaccinating all teachers and school staff in the state.