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CDC says three feet of distance between students is adequate

A woman leaves a vaccination center in the Lithuanian town of Utena on Wednesday. (Mindaugas Kulbis/AP)
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The Centers for Disease Control announced Friday that three feet of distance is often sufficient for students in schools with mask policies, offering a glimpse into how schools will function later in the year.

The health agency had previously recommended six feet of space but reversed some of its stance following newly published research that found limited coronavirus transmission in schools with mask requirements but not a full six feet of distance.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement that the organization is leading with science and updating its recommendations as new research becomes available.

“These updated recommendations provide the evidence-based road map to help schools reopen safely, and remain open, for in-person instruction,” she said.

Here are some significant developments:

  • President Biden thanked staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their efforts in combating the pandemic. “We owe you a gigantic debt of gratitude,” he said during a visit to the headquarters in Atlanta Friday.
  • Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson announced they will deliver 138 million vaccine doses to Brazil, where the outbreak is worse than ever. The South American nation reported close to 3,000 deaths on Tuesday.
  • Every state now has a variant, which could threaten the decrease in the number of coronavirus infections, USA Today reported.
  • A new report in Science Magazine states that the first case of the novel coronavirus likely emerged in China’s Hubei province between mid-October or mid-November — a slightly earlier timeline than what has been previously reported.
  • About 98 percent of AMC theaters will be open on Friday, with more expected to open by March 26, Associated Press reported.
  • Paris and several other parts of France will enter a new lockdown Friday night, as the more transmissible coronavirus variant first identified in Britain is prompting a surge in hospitalizations.
  • The Biden administration has agreed to supply Mexico with excess doses of a coronavirus vaccine, and the decision to send the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to Mexico, and to Canada, is expected to be announced Friday.
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Here's what to know:

President Biden thanked staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their efforts in combating the pandemic. “We owe you a gigantic debt of gratitude,” he said during a visit to the headquarters in Atlanta Friday.
Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson announced they will deliver 138 million vaccine doses to Brazil, where the outbreak is worse than ever. The South American nation reported close to 3,000 deaths on Tuesday.
Every state now has a variant, which could threaten the decrease in the number of coronavirus infections, USA Today reported.
A new report in Science Magazine states that the first case of the novel coronavirus likely emerged in China’s Hubei province between mid-October or mid-November — a slightly earlier timeline than what has been previously reported.
About 98 percent of AMC theaters will be open on Friday, with more expected to open by March 26, Associated Press reported.
Paris and several other parts of France will enter a new lockdown Friday night, as the more transmissible coronavirus variant first identified in Britain is prompting a surge in hospitalizations.
The Biden administration has agreed to supply Mexico with excess doses of a coronavirus vaccine, and the decision to send the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to Mexico, and to Canada, is expected to be announced Friday.

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