ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Erie County’s Health Department is asking school districts to carefully review the state’s new guidelines, before moving forward.

Friday, the state announced the required social distancing in classrooms has been cut down to three feet apart.

New York State is keeping the six-foot rule for some circumstances, including during lunch when masks are off and in gyms and hallways.

The health department stresses that before districts make any decisions they should remember that the county is in the midst of a COVID spike, driven by younger people. However, officials say ultimately the decision comes from the district.

New York State United Teachers are applauding the state’s revised guidelines but say distancing is only part of a layered mitigation strategy.

Union President Andy Pallotta said quote, “There also is more to be done to strengthen safety protocols. While the state recommends that districts ‘strongly consider’ implementing screening testing, we believe there is zero excuse for all districts not to implement routine testing as soon as possible.”