Child with face mask back at school after covid-19 quarantine and lockdown, writing.

Since near the start of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has urged people to maintain at least six feet of distance between themselves and others whenever possible. However, a recent study suggesting half that distance is enough in schools where masks are being worn has the CDC reconsidering its recommendations.

A study published March 10 in Clinical Infectious Diseases says that just 3 feet of distance is needed between masked people, reports NPR. The experts behind the study came to this figure after comparing infection rates between Massachusetts schools that required at least three feet of space between students and staff and other schools in the state that required six feet. In studying the results of the two types of distancing mandates, the authors concluded that there was no serious difference.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky addressed the study when talking to members of the media during a White House Briefing. She said the CDC is "looking at the data carefully," according to NRP. She also said that similar studies are being conducted, which should make even more information available.

The schools in Massachusetts are not the only ones experimenting with social distancing mandates of 3 feet or more. According to, Illinois is also permitting 3 feet of distancing between school occupants, and Oregon is considering that length, too.

American Association Of School Administrators Executive Director Dan Domenech said that he expects even more states to embrace a 3-foot social distancing rule in coming weeks, according to