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DCPS Says New CDC Guidelines Mean More Normal Environment For Students

Cyd Hoskinson

Classroom desks only need to be three feet apart in elementary schools, according to new coronavirus guidelines issued Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three feet of separation is also okay for middle and high schools, but only if there’s not a high level of spread in the community.

In response to the changes, Duval County Public Schools said on its website that it would keep other safety measures in place. 

“The district does not anticipate changes to safety protocols in place all year,” the district wrote. “This includes face covering requirements, temperature checks, desk shields, and frequent handwashing.”

The CDC said Friday there’s no need for plastic shields or other barriers between desks since the evidence shows they don’t really help prevent transmission.

Duval County Public Schools said the changes to distancing guidelines would make it easier to conduct testing. Teachers will now be able to test a whole class at one time, creating a more normal environment for students, the district said. 

Six feet of separation is still the rule for school cafeterias and other common areas, and where there are a lot of people talking, cheering or singing.

Contact Sydney Boles at, or on Twitter at @sydneyboles.

Sydney manages community engagement programs like WJCT News' Coronavirus Texting Service. Originally from the mountains of upstate New York, she relocated to Jacksonville from Kentucky, where she reported on Appalachia's coal industry.