The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released more recommendations for masks in schools with data that backs up its position that masks work to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Citing new studies, the CDC is recommending universal masking for all students, staff members and visitors at schools with students from kindergarten through 12th grade, regardless of vaccination status.
The CDC said the recommendation was made to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
A school has a mask requirement if everyone has to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status, according to the CDC.
The CDC considers it an early mask requirement if masks were mandated when school began. A late mask requirement refers to compulsory mask-wearing that started after school started.
Looking at data from Arizona schools, the CDC found that schools that didn’t have universal masking policies early in the year when school started have higher numbers of outbreaks, ABC News reported.
Specifically, schools that had no mask rules at the start of the year had a 3.5x higher number of outbreaks, when compared to those that did not.
The CDC examined the rules at 999 schools, of which 191 reported outbreaks. An outbreak was defined as two or more confirmed cases among students or staff in a 14-day period, at least seven days after school started, UPI reported.
Of those, 113 didn’t have a mask requirement when school started and 20 issued them two weeks or more after learning began, UPI reported.
Overall, nearly 2,000 schools across the country have had to close and more than 900,000 students across more than 40 states have been impacted.
You can read the study for yourself here, or below.
In addition to masking, the CDC suggests vaccination, testing and physical distancing to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks in schools, ABC News reported.
By Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk