Distancing & Masks
Distancing & Masks Recommendations
With Covid being airborne and highly transmissible (increasingly so with new variants such as Delta), sharing indoor space is never completely without risk and we share DCPS’s view that providing in-person learning is worth some degree of risk for most students. However, there are demonstrated and readily feasible ways to drastically reduce that risk. The current plan does not require distancing that will help to prevent or slow transmission within schools. Last year, DC required 6 feet of distancing among children, but this year simply recommend students be kept 3 feet apart when possible. There is no minimum distance this year because DC classrooms aren’t large enough to hold 100% of enrolled students. We recognize the extreme challenge of ensuring adequate distance under these circumstances, but to provide an important layer of risk mitigation, DCPS should preserve the 3-foot distance requirement and provide additional staff and facilities, greater use of outdoor space, and/or additional virtual learning to enable such distancing.
Similar to ventilation, high quality, properly fitted and consistently worn masks provide one of the most critical and effective means of reducing transmission and infection. DCPS policy currently calls for consistent masking by all. However, DCPS does not currently plan to provide quality, properly fitted masks/respirators to every student - such as KN95s - nor does it plan to provide resources for additional personnel to monitor and support proper masking by students at all times. DCPS should plan to provide a continuing supply of high quality, properly fitted masks/respirators and additional resources to support consistent use.