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CT Department of Education Issues COVID Guidance

Alvaro Barrientos

The weather’s getting warmer and residents are rolling up their sleeves to get the coronavirus vaccine. But the state Department of Education is telling students and families that it’s no time to let their guard down. 

In guidance, called Finish Strong, the department issued a reminder to keep up the standard practices of masking and social distancing. Communications Director Peter Yazbak said it’s important to remember that the pandemic isn’t over yet.

“We’ve come this far, we have the majority of our students having access to some sort of in-person learning option,” Yazbak told Connecticut Public Radio. “We just want to make sure we keep that up, keep each other safe and finish up the school year strong.”

All but 2.5% of students have the option to attend in-person school, according to state officials. About 70.1% of students are attending in person full time, and 27.4% chose a hybrid school option. 

The guidance comes in reaction to the spread of more contagious variants of the coronavirus. Yazbak said this guidance is as much for the school population as it is for the community beyond.

“Despite the warmer weather, despite the vaccine being out, we need to remain vigilant,” Yazbak said. 

This new guidance reflects an update from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month shortening the 6-foot social distancing guidelines to 3 feet in K-12 schools.

Ali Oshinskie is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. She loves hearing what you thought of her stories or story ideas you have so please email her at aoshinskie@ctpublic.org.

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