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40 percent of Corpus Christi students opted for in-person learning, health officials say they're concerned about this move. Here's why.

Dr. Bird believes virtual learning was one of the driving forces behind our numbers going down. Dr. Bird says cell phone data tracking to confirms that.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi Independent School District officials now see that 40 percent of its students throughout the district have agreed to return to in-person learning. That means there will be a larger number of students returning to the classroom on October 5 when CCISD moves into its next phase of its re-opening plan which calls for 100% of the students who have chosen that option to be in class.

The district has been looking at possibly changing its social distancing guidelines for students from six feet to four feet. That doesn’t sit well with a local president of the American Federation of teachers.

“The fact of the matter is they went back to classes without being prepared without adhering to the CDC guidelines that’s the fact of the matter they are not prepared and students and teachers in every employee and CCISD are not gonna be safe so come on,” said Dr. Nancy Vera, President of CCAFT Union.

Dr. Chris Bird who is a member of our COVID-19 task force tells 3News that six feet is the minimum distance you want to be from someone who has COVID-19.

“I advise that if you were indoors with someone who has COVID that you wanna be more than six feet away from them. Six feet isn’t far enough given what we know about COVID-19 and how it is transmitted, and it is transmitted and aerosolized particles,” said Dr. Bird.

Dr. Bird also believes that virtual learning was one of the driving forces behind our numbers going down. Dr. Bird says cell phone data tracking seems to confirm that.

“From the beginning of school there was a precipitous decline in the encounter rate between different devices in the coastal Bend area. So, it looks like remote schooling has kept kids and parents at home more than when they were over the summer,” said Dr. Bird.

So if more students are returning to the classroom and social distancing requirements are moved in from six feet could that be the recipe for another surge in our positive cases?

“There’s all these guidelines in place at the schools are trying to follow which the reason why these guidelines are there actually a lot of them are more than guidelines on a lot of them are rules or laws they’re in place because they work,” said Dr. Bird. “I would say that’s probably why we haven’t seen it take off yet as we relax the regulations and roll back the guidelines and increase the distance increase the density of people and it becomes more likely that it’s gonna go off again.”

Teacher Union President Nancy Vera agrees with that and wants the District to go back to 100% virtual learning. Dr. Vera feels that’s the safest option until there’s a vaccine.