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VERIFY: Yes, 3 feet is a safe enough distance for students

According to the CDC, three feet is safe enough distance for students if they are wearing a mask.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As kids are heading back to school, school districts in the Charlotte area are looking at ways to keep students safe in the classroom. 

One debate is whether students should sit six feet or three feet apart. Last year, many districts required six feet, but new guidance says three feet may be enough.

THE QUESTION

Is three feet enough distance to keep students safe? 

SOURCES 

THE ANSWER

Yes, according to the CDC, three feet is a safe enough distance for students if they are wearing a mask. 

WHAT WE FOUND 

School districts in North Carolina have told us they will follow the North Carolina Strong Schools NC Tool Kit to the best of their ability. 

When it comes to social distancing, the Strong Schools NC Toolkit states all schools should maintain a minimum of three feet between K-12 students who are not fully vaccinated. 

It also states there should be a minimum of six feet between adults and students who are not fully vaccinated.

"Kids don't exhale as forcefully so those particles wouldn't go out as far, and if they are going to be wearing masks which most of the country, they probably will be, to me three feet is absolutely fine," Geier said.

RELATED: LIST: K-12 schools in Charlotte-area districts mask, vaccine and remote learning decisions

The CDC recommends schools maintain at least three feet between students within classrooms in addition to wearing masks. 

"As far as is there an increased risk may be slightly, but with masks, there is probably not going to be a significant increase," Geier said. 

RELATED: Masks are optional as students return to the classroom Wednesday in Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit wcnc.com/verify.