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Solving COVID

CDC finds 'little evidence' schools have 'contributed meaningfully' to coronavirus spread in communities

Multiple reports published Tuesday from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that schools have seen little transmission of the coronavirus and that spread can likely be kept low with the "proper prevention efforts" including masks, social distancing, and smaller cohorts of students, The Washington Post reports.

In one study, researchers looked at 17 rural K-12 schools in Wisconsin during the fall semester and found that just seven out of 191 COVID-19 cases among students and staff members were the result of in-school transmission, and none of the staff members were infected at school.

Two other domestic studies of school districts in Mississippi and North Carolina that were reviewed by the CDC offered similar findings. "The preponderance of available evidence from the fall school semester has been reassuring," three CDC researchers wrote in a viewpoint piece in the Journal of American Medical Association. "There has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission."

The agency, however, is cautioning that indoor sports and other extracurricular activities that do not allow for distancing or mask usage pose a higher risk, the Post notes. For instance, another CDC report released Tuesday described two Florida high school wrestling tournaments in December that resulted in 30 percent of the 130 athletes, coaches, and referees who participated becoming infected. Read more at The Washington Post.