Optimal social distancing in the school environment (including but not limited to classrooms, hallways, lunchrooms, school buses) was discussed at length at the meeting of the Board of Health on January 4.
Board member Ann Kiessling, consistent with the position taken at prior meetings, argued that there is no published data that clearly establishes the relative value of 6’ over 3’ of social distancing between students as a way of slowing or preventing virus transmission. After the Board’s last meeting on December 21 during which the issue was discussed, Kiessling asked that Health Director Heidi Porter and Community Nurse Mark Waksmonski research the question further. Based on the information they provided, Kiessling noted that “The bottom line is that there are no public studies on the relative value of 6’ vs. 3’ for children…Nobody has looked at it. Nobody has studied it. And there is quite a bit of evidence that 3’ of distance is probably ok….I am not advocating either but I am advocating that there is no science that drives 6’ is better than 3’ in a child’s classroom.”