Oregon will allow less space between students amid COVID

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown visits with a school bus driver at Kalapuya Elementary School in West Salem, Oregon on Feb. 24, 2021. Brown visited the school to observe how teachers and staff were preparing for the return of in-person learning.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon will reduce the required amount of space between students from six feet to three feet in most cases, a revision of COVID-19 school precautions that will give districts more flexibility as students return to in-person class.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Department of Education on Monday cited recent studies and new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in making the change.

Oregon still requires students to wear masks and will maintain six feet of distance when passing in the hallways and eating.

The new rules mean schools can put four times as many students in a classroom than previously.

Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, ordered all school districts to give all students the option for in-person learning by next month.

Oregon will allow schools to space elementary students three feet apart in all cases but will require six feet of spacing for middle and high school students if the county’s rate of new coronavirus cases exceeds 200 per 100,000 residents over the course of 14 days.

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