ANNAPOLIS (WJZ) — Maryland is lowering its physical distancing guidelines in classrooms from six feet apart to three feet apart.

The guidelines come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mandating students should follow these limits in any classroom setting.

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“Every single Maryland student must have the opportunity to return to attending school in some form or fashion, and this updated CDC guidance is another step in the right direction,” said Governor Hogan. “The time has come to give our kids a chance to get back in the classroom, and to open all of the schools.”

State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon and Deputy Public Health Secretary Dr. Jinlene Chan sent a letter notifying school systems:

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“In accordance with the CDC guidance, schools should allow for students, while in the classroom, to maintain 3 ft distance between each other. This updated guidance is the result of numerous and robust academic studies finding that 3 ft of distance between students did not significantly impact transmission of COVID-19 when compared to the earlier 6 ft distancing guidance. Adults should continue to maintain 6 ft distance from students and other adults.

“This updated guidance and the continued low rate of cases in schools should empower all Maryland schools to bring more students back into the classroom and/or give students the opportunity to receive in-person instruction more frequently before the end of the school year. In accordance with the CDC guidance, schools should implement phased prevention strategies with an emphasis on prioritizing in-person learning.”

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

CBS Baltimore Staff