Two studies published on Friday support government recommendations for universal indoor masking in schools.
In the first study, researchers looked at data from approximately 1,000 kindergarten to high school schools in Maricopa and Pima counties in Arizona, where more than three-quarters of the state’s population lives.
Schools were considered to have masking requirements if everyone, including students, staff, faculty, and visitors, required to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. A school was considered to have occurred if there were two or more news incidents between students or staff within 14 days, a week after the school began.
According to the CDC, there were 191 school-related outbreaks between mid-July and late August. Schools with universal masking requirements at the start of school accounted for about 31% of the analyzed series of schools, but only about 8% of outbreaks. Schools without masking requirements, on the other hand, accounted for 59% of these outbreaks, but less than half (48%) of the entire set of schools analyzed.
In early August, the CDC adjusted school masking recommendations to include everyone, regardless of vaccination status, due to the prevalence of the more contagious Delta variant.
“I think the data really show that masking actually reduces school outbreaks,” said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Monday. “So masks are really the way to go for the purpose of getting our kids to school, going to school and keeping them safe.”
Another CDC study, published on Friday, suggests that the effects of masking policies in schools appear to extend beyond classroom walls.
The survey found that counties without school mask requirements had a higher child case rate than counties where schools required universal masks.
Between the week before school and the week after school, childhood cases were more than doubled in counties without school masks compared to counties with school masks. Increased.
County without school mask requirements added an average of about 35 new pediatric cases per 100,000 children daily in the two weeks, while counties with school mask requirements added about 100,000 children per day. 16 new pediatric cases have increased.
In this study, the CDC analyzed a pediatric case rate in approximately 500 counties where mask requirements were consistent across all schools in the county and could be applied to all students or none. The findings were adjusted to control pediatric immunization rates at the county level, but not inter-teacher immunization rates or school test data. Vaccination data is not available at school level.
The CDC is committed to “hierarchical prevention, including vaccinations, testing, enhanced ventilation, and increased physical distance associated with masking to stop the Covid-19 epidemic and create a safe school environment with minimal disruption. It emphasizes the importance of “strategy”.
In recent weeks, children over the age of 5 have had a higher incidence of Covid-19 than any other age group, according to CDC data. Children between the ages of 12 and 17 also have the lowest immunization rates of any age group. Children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for Covid-19 vaccination.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration member and Pfizer board member, said it wasn’t time to make masks an option at school.
“I think we have to reach the point where the vaccine is widely available in schools,” he told CNN on Thursday. “Schools are not an inherently safe environment, but they can be made safer with proper precautions. Masks are certainly one tool.”
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