CDC Study Shows Masks Did Save Schoolkids From Covid
A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points to mask mandates resulting in 23% lower covid cases in staff and students then in schools without requirements. Difficulties in unmasking, and among schools still supporting masks are also reported across the country.
The New York Times:
Masking Did Help Protect Children From Covid Last Fall, According To A CDC Study
More and more American school districts have dropped mask mandates in recent weeks as coronavirus cases plunged across the United States. But they remain a subject of debate among some students and their parents, and a study released on Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that those mandates had helped protect children and teachers from the coronavirus last fall. The study, examining public school districts in Arkansas from August to October as the Delta variant spread, found that districts with full mask requirements had 23 percent lower rates of the coronavirus among students and staff members than districts without the mandates. (Mueller, 3/8)
Requiring Masks In K-12 Schools Cut Covid-19 Infections, Study Shows
The research compared Covid-19 infections in 233 public school districts. Among these, 30% required students and staff to mask up, 21% required masks part of the time, and 48% didn't have mask requirements. Mask policies had the most effect for older students and in combination with higher vaccination coverage. (Goodman, 3/8)
And more on masks in schools —
Teachers Hit Picket Lines In Minneapolis As Parents Worry
Minneapolis public school teachers hit the picket lines on Tuesday, calling for better wages and “safe and stable schools,” as parents found themselves facing an uncertainty that’s become all too familiar during the coronavirus pandemic. Union leaders and school officials made it clear the sides were far apart on issues that also include caps on class sizes and more mental health services for students. (Karnowski and Forliti, 3/9)
New York Post:
Top NYC School Principal Slammed For Allowing Teachers To Still Tell Kids To Mask Up
Teachers at a top Manhattan high school pressured students to stay masked on Monday — all with the blessing of their principal, The Post has learned. Beacon High School principal Brady Smith apparently sought to undermine the mayor’s ending of the school mask mandate by telling parents that teachers could ask their students to wear masks. (Sheehan and Algar, 3/8)
New York Post:
Kids See Their Classmates’ Faces For The First Time In Years
“It was surprising to see my classmates without a mask,” said a Stuyvesant High School student named Tasnim. “You see them in a new light. When you see only the top of their face it becomes part of their personality.” ... Another student said the mask removals vastly improved communication across the board. “You can actually breathe when you’re playing in the playground and it’s much easier to talk to your friends and teachers,” observed Meison Horie, 8. “I started wearing a mask in first grade and I have been waiting for the rule to change ever since.” (Algar and Rosner, 3/7)
California Mask Mandate: Is It Ending Too Soon For Children?
Toddlers and preschoolers who have mostly known a school life with tiny masks may be in for a big lifestyle change after Friday, when the state mask mandate for kids ends at midnight. While wearing masks is still strongly recommended, some medical experts worry removing the state mask mandate could be risky for tots. The change shifts the onus of requiring masking to child care and preschool operators, schools and school districts. Schools will no longer be able to bar a student from school for not wearing a face covering. (Aguilera, 3/8)
Los Angeles Times:
School Mask Mandates: Is It Safe For Kids To Go Maskless?
Some parents have been eager for masks to become optional, and there are instances in which that can make sense. It can be prudent to retain mask-wearing policies in situations where kids are too young to be vaccinated, Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, chief of infectious diseases at Stanford University School of Medicine’s pediatrics department, said in an interview. “Masks, distancing work when you can’t be vaccinated, or when … you’re immunocompromised,” Maldonado said. Because children under 5 aren’t eligible to be vaccinated, day care centers with those younger kids “still need to use masks.” (Lin II and Money, 3/8)