Experts Believe Reopening Schools is a Possibility After Latest Study
OnFocus – Experts in Wood County have conducted a study on in-person instruction in schools and the outlook of the management of COVID-19 cases.
The study was conducted by Amy Falk, MD, of Aspirus Doctors Clinic in Wisconsin Rapids, Alison Brenda, Sarah Steffen, MMP, and Zachary Wallace all of Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin in Wausau, Peter Falk, OD, of ReVision Eye Care in Wisconsin Rapids and Tracy Beth Høeg, MD, PhD, of the University of California, Davis and Northern California Orthopaedic Associates in Sacramento, California.
For about three months during August to November 2020, 4,876 students and 654 staff members from 17 schools in Wood county were observed for their mask-wearing protocols and COVID-19 infection rates.
Throughout the duration of the study, 191 positive cases were found over the 5,530 people involved. The COVID-19 infection rate was 3,453 per 100,000 people which was lower of the national average of 5,466 per 100,000 people. Of these 191 cases, it was found that only one in 20 were traced back to in-school transmission.
Recently, the Marshfield School Board approved a five-day-a-week, in-person schedule which will be the first “normal” schedule since last March. Read more about that decision here.
Ninety-two percent of the students and staff at the schools being studied were observed as using proper mask protocol. Teachers at participating schools filled out a survey which asked how many of their students wear masks properly.
The report concludes that given the correct health and safety protocols, “K–12 schools might be capable of opening for in-person learning with minimal in-school transmission of SARS-CoV-2.”
This article was written with information from a CDC article. That article and others concerning COVID-19 can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7004e3.htm?s_cid=mm7004e3_w.
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