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Ivey decreases social distancing guideline for K-12 students following updated CDC guidance

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Monday made a technical revision to Alabama’s Safer at Home order that decreased the distance students must distance from each other at Alabama’s public schools from six feet to three feet.

The revision comes in the wake of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishing updated guidance on COVID-19 mitigation in schools.

“Alabama continues moving in the right direction, and we feel very optimistic that COVID-19 will soon be in our rearview mirrors. Until then, we want to ensure that we are doing what we know is right in Alabama, based on recommendations by the CDC and other experts,” said Ivey on Monday.

Ivey’s newly amended Safer at Home order can be accessed here.

The relevant section requires that Alabama’s K-12 schools will now “be required to take reasonable steps to keep students from different households three feet apart from one another.”

Until Monday, the guideline had been six feet.

Ivey, a former teacher, has been consistently in favor of keeping kids in the classroom for in-person instruction since the fall of 2020.

Some school districts in Alabama have differed with the governor’s recommended policy of in-person instruction and have used virtual classrooms or a combination of online/in-person instruction methods for much of the last year.

“I hope that districts here in Alabama and around the country follow the science and get our kids back in the classroom,” remarked Ivey on Monday.

“Alabama schools, for the most part, are setting the example for the rest of the nation, because the majority of our students and teachers are back in the classroom. These latest guidelines from the CDC make the return to the classroom even easier for our schools,” she added.

Ivey concluded, “Students have not had a voice during the pandemic, and I think we can all agree that it is past time for students and teachers to have the opportunity to be back in the classroom.”

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@new-yhn.local or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.