The distance that people will have to socially distance from others may be reduced soon, according to the nation’s leading infectious disease expect Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Fauci said health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were considering a study from the Beth Deaconess Medical Center in Massachusetts that showed that were “no substantial difference” in COVID-19 cases in schools when 3 feet of social distancing was observed or when 6 feet of social distancing was implemented.

When asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” whether this would mean that 3 feet of social distance would be sufficient, he said, “it does, indeed.”

But Fauci cautioned, the CDC was still studying the data and conducting its own testing, saying that the agency’s findings would come “soon.”

“What the CDC wants to do is accumulate data, and when data shows ability to be three feet, they will act accordingly,” Dr. Fauci told CNN.

“I don’t want to get ahead of official guidelines,” he added.

Six feet of social distancing has been the standard CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of the coronavirus in addition to wearing face coverings and hand washing.

In the study by the Beth Deaconess Medical Center, 251 school districts were studied over a 16-week period, using both 6-foot and 3-foot social distancing rules with face masks among staff and students.

The findings, which were published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, would make it easier for schools to reopen, which have said the 6-foot social distancing requirement is a significant obstacle to overcome, The New York Times reported.

Conclusions of the study found that “Lower physical distancing policies can be adopted in school settings with masking mandates without negatively impacting student or staff safety.”

The World Health Organization has globally recommended 1 meter (or 3.3 feet) of social distancing  to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

An aerial view shows painted circles in the grass to encourage people to social distance at Washington Square Park in San Francisco, California An aerial view shows painted circles in the grass to encourage people to social distance at Washington Square Park in San Francisco, California Photo: AFP / Josh Edelson