As schools nationwide work toward reopening for in-person instruction, there is now a significant disparity in health organizations’ recommendations for minimum social distancing.

The most recent update on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website about social distancing is dated Nov. 17, and it says the following: “To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.”

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization’s advice for the public as of Feb. 24 says to maintain “at least a 1-metre distance between yourself and others,” while adding, “the further away, the better.” This recommendation of roughly three feet is featured on downloadable WHO graphics related to shopping for groceries and visiting family in a long-term care facility, but there is no specific guidance related to sufficient distance while in classrooms.

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