Study Shows Transmission of COVID-19 in Schools is “Extremely Rare,” Undercutting Teachers’ Unions Arguments
A new study found that in-school transmission of COVID-19 between students is “extremely rare,” casting doubt on the claims of teachers unions that have fought to keep schools closed amid the pandemic.
From the Washington Free Beacon:
In a collaborative study between Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, researchers discovered that among 11 school districts with nearly 100,000 staff and students, there were no instances of children passing the coronavirus to adults during in-person instruction. Researchers found just 32 cases of either kid-to-kid or adult-to-adult coronavirus transmission over nine weeks.
The study also slammed school policies that ask individuals to self-quarantine if they come within six feet of a person infected with coronavirus for more than 15 minutes, even if both individuals wore masks. The study calls the policy “counter-productive,” as transmission of the coronavirus when properly wearing a mask is “uncommon” in school settings. Researchers also said the policy sends a mixed message to the public on the benefit of face coverings.
The study concluded that “schools can stay open safely in communities with widespread community transmission.”
The peer-reviewed study as a growing body of evidence suggests that school-aged children are less likely to contract COVID-19, and even less likely to fall severely ill from the virus.
One hypothesis for why this may be the case is children are frequently afflicted with the common cold, four of which contain coronaviruses similar to COVID-19. While immunity from colds wanes over time, children are more likely to be recently exposed than adults which may help provide them added protection.
Nevertheless, teachers’ unions across the country have actively resisted returning to the classroom.
From Education Week:
Several statewide teachers’ unions, including in Illinois, Maryland, and Wisconsin, have put pressure on their governors to shut down schools across the state or set clear benchmarks that dictate when districts will have to close their doors.
Keri Rodrigues, president of the National Parents Union, believes that unions have too much power at the negotiating table.
“The balance of power is off,” she said. “It’s very striking to us as parents and families—we have a group of elected officials who make deals with labor unions and decide what policies we’re going to do, and we’re just supposed to take it and be on the roller coaster ride.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, believes that the “default position” should be to have schools be open.
“The default position should be to try as best as possible within reason to keep the children in school or to get them back to school,” Fauci said last month. “If you look at the data the spread among children and from children is not really big at all.”