Study: COVID-19 spread in schools ‘extremely limited’ | KOB 4

Study: COVID-19 spread in schools ‘extremely limited’

Tommy Lopez
Updated: January 11, 2021 10:25 PM
Created: January 11, 2021 09:01 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Schools may be safer during the pandemic than many health experts originally thought.

A new American Academy of Pediatrics study adds to the evidence that in-person learning may not be a big threat to public health.

Researchers looked at 9 weeks of in-person learning in North Carolina for over 100,000 students and staff. It “found extremely limited within-school secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2,” meaning there were not many times when a student or staff member got the virus at school.

There were 805 total COVID-19 cases, and only 32 of those people, 4%, got it at school. That’s .03% of all the people in the study.

Plus, there were zero cases where a child gave the virus to an adult.

People not wearing face masks caused most of the at-school cases.

Last month, a different study that looked at Michigan and Washington also found low transmission rates in schools.

KOB 4 asked the New Mexico Department of Health Secretary, Dr. Tracie Collins, about the findings.

“We definitely look at the data and we definitely consider that, and we consider its strengths and weaknesses as part of influencing how we make decisions,” Collins said.

It’s not yet known if this evidence will lead to the state opening up schools sooner than it otherwise would.

A New Mexico Public Education Department spokesperson says it doesn’t evaluate health studies and leaves medical decisions to the DOH.

The vast majority of New Mexico’s 300,000 students have spent the last nine months learning from home.

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