Covid-19 does not spread to schools with safety precautions, CDC reports, but sport is a different story

Top line

Growing evidence shows that reopening schools with appropriate precautions will not increase the spread of Covid-19, with the Centers for Disease Control concluding on Tuesday that in-person learning does not cause significant outbreaks, but l The agency warned that indoor athletics could derail efforts for safety in the school-educated person.


The CDC assessed 17 schools in rural Wisconsin from August through November and found only seven students (3.7%) – no staff – who contracted the virus at school.

These schools were able to limit Covid-19 by wearing masks, separating students into groups of 11 to 20, socially distancing themselves and establishing quarantine measures when a student was infected, according to the study.

Another study released by the CDC on Tuesday found that an indoor wrestling tournament in Florida caused the infection of 30% of participants, leading researchers to note that indoor athletics lacked proper social distancing and other security measures “could compromise” the security precautions of the Covid-19 school.

Several recent studies, both in the United States and overseas, have reached similar conclusions, including a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics which found that transmission at school was “extremely limited. During the first nine weeks of in-person instruction in North Carolina.

Crucial quote

“As many schools have reopened for in-person instruction in parts of the United States as well as overseas, school-related cases of COVID-19 have been reported, but there is little evidence that schools have contributed significantly to the increase in community transmission, ”the CDC researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Key context

The debate over reopening schools has affected districts across the country throughout the pandemic. For the fall term of 2020, 24% of public school districts were fully online, while 51% were using a hybrid model and 17% were fully open to in-person instruction, according to data company MCH. Although large school districts and local officials, recognizing the harms of distance learning on students, are starting to push for full in-person instruction, they sometimes disagree with teacher unions, who argue that districts do not take strong enough measures to protect teachers.


There was a major epidemic linked to the reopening of schools in Israel last spring. But CDC researchers say the outbreak was linked to overcrowded classrooms, exemption from the use of face masks, and “continuous air conditioning that recycled indoor air into closed rooms during a wave of heat “.

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Susan W. Lloyd