- CDC researchers said there was “little evidence” that schools had meaningfully broadcast the coronavirus virus in an editorial on Tuesday.
- Researchers suggested the reopening of schools with masks and social removal requirements.
- The decision, he wrote, may require some sacrifices – such as indoor eating or closing the gym.
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American schools began closing their doors from last spring amid an increase in cases of coronovirus. The decision was based on the science available at the time, suggesting that poorly ventilated indoor spaces – particularly those holding large clusters – were transmission hotbeds.
In general, this is true, but a group of recent studies have found schools to be relatively low risk compared to other places where people gather, such as home gatherings, nursing homes, packed office buildings, or colleges. Dorm.
In an editorial on Tuesday, researchers at the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that “there was little evidence that schools have made meaningful contributions to community transmission.”
The researchers asked schools to return to in-learning, with some ground rules: Masks should be worn at all times. Social distinctions should be upheld. And indoor sports practices or competitions should be limited.
“It is not safe to have a pizza party with a group of students,” Margaret Hannin, one of the CDC researchers, told the New York Times. “But external cross-country, where distance can be maintained, may be fine to continue.”
Keeping schools safe for in-learning will also require some sacrifices, researchers said, such as closing indoor restaurants, bars, or gyms.
A November study by Stanford University researchers estimated that full-service restaurants, gyms, hotels, cafes, and places of worship would receive the largest increases in coronovirus infections when reopened compared to essential sites such as grocery stores . Restaurants were particularly high-risk, given their limited space and the fact that people dine for more than an hour.
Banning indoor dining may therefore result in less community broadcasting, making children’s school less risky.
Masks and social distances have to be paid
Schools are no strangers to outbreaks of coronoviruses: Israel reopened select classes for in-learning learning in May, with 13% of students and about 17% of employees receiving COVID-19 at a high school in Jerusalem. But the school had stopped applying face masks and was constantly running air-conditioning due to heatwave.
In addition to masks and social disturbances, CDC researchers recommended increasing ventilation in classrooms, expanding testing to identify asymptomatic cases, and continuing to offer online classes for high-risk students and staff.
President Joe Biden’s proposed coronavirus relief plan would allocate $ 130 billion to help schools implement these measures. Biden aims to reopen most K-8 schools during his first 100 days in office.
“If you make a mitigation strategy, it is safe for children and adults in school to be in the community,” pediatrician Daniel Benjamin of Duke University recently quoted Insider.
Benjamin’s study in 11 school districts in North Carolina identified relatively fewer coronavirus cases from August to October: only 32 infections were reported in schools over the course of nine weeks. Students age 5 and older were required to wear masks, stay six feet apart and wash their hands regularly.
A new CDC report also revealed minimal transmission between K-12 schools requiring masks in Wood County, Wisconsin. Out of 5,530 students and staff members, only 191 COVID-19 cases were reported between August and November. Only seven of them were related to school transmission.
In both studies, the virus was spreading extensively in the local community, suggesting that mitigation strategies did indeed work. When broadcasting is short, some schools may be less careful.
A recent study focused on broadcasting in primary schools in Oslo and Wiccan, two Norwegian counties with the highest COVID-19 totals in the country. From August to November, 234 children were tested for the virus, but only two cases were identified. None of those students appeared to pass the virus on to anyone else, even though masks were not required.
But Benjamin cautioned that schools that do not require masks are going “to rude awakening” as they grapple with the new coronavirus virus identified in the UK and South Africa, which appears to spread more easily .
“When matters escalate, they will either need to put on a mask or they are going to have real problems,” he said.