State Republican leaders Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, and Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, on Thursday urged Gov. Jay Inslee to endorse 3-foot spacing in the state’s classrooms as a replacement to the current recommendation of 6 feet of space between students and staff.
“We’re hearing from school districts that the six-foot spacing of students is the largest hurdle to reopening classrooms,” the lawmakers wrote in a joint press release. “The director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention essentially agreed when speaking to members of Congress yesterday. She also noted how Massachusetts has seen success with three-foot spacing, when combined with proper face covering and hygiene.”
Citing new data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday officially updated its physical distancing guidelines for children in schools from 6 feet to 3 feet.
Wilcox and Braun noted in the statement that schools have one month to return to in-person schooling in at least a limited capacity.
“The children limited to remote instruction have been ready for a long time to see their teachers in person,” the lawmakers wrote. “Families need for their students to receive the best possible form of instruction. Students who have been allowed back on campus have shown they can follow established safety protocols. For many months, Republicans have trusted that schools can resume in-person instruction safely. Now that the governor has also reached that conclusion, through his emergency proclamation, let’s not allow the difference between 6 feet and 3 feet to keep students from finally walking back into classrooms.”