CDC research: Schools safe for students, staff with COVID-19 protocols

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 8:53 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The CDC is now giving parents re-assurance after a study found that schools are safe as long as COVID protocols are followed.

A CDC study published Tuesday looked at the spread of the virus in schools throughout the fall semester. It showed schools weren’t the cause of most transmissions, unlike those seen in other high-density places like nursing homes.

The CDC also found that school closures can negatively affect academic performance, mental health, and essential services.

The findings were encouraging to doctors who read the study, like Dr. Kristina Bryant, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Norton Children’s Hospital.

“Mask wearing, distancing, hand washing,” she said the study pointed out among the protocols that must be kept up, “and a set of administrative controls and support in place and they were really able to open safely.”

Trimble County Schools is one of a handful of districts that re-opened to in-person learning in Kentucky the week of Jan. 4, with its staff first going over all safety guidelines again.

“We ensured all our sanitation stations were ready to go and thermometers were working to check those temperatures,” Superintendent Jessica Wilcoxson explained to WAVE 3 News.

She said that students were back in class the following day, Jan. 5.

Wilcoxson has also stated that because positive cases of the coronavirus have been confined, and there are currently only five confirmed in the district, more students using Non-Traditional Instruction are slowly returning to school.

“We have approximately 80% of students attending in-person learning right now,” she said.

Wilcoxson said their hybrid schedule has also been serving families well since the beginning of the year.

Trimble County parent Steve Consley told WAVE 3 News his high school senior middle schooler were split on going back to class at first.

“My 7th grader, she wasn’t up on going back, but once she got back, she was glad she did,” Consley said. “And so, after Christmas both were really excited to be back.”

Another parent, Jenna Stevens, said her social teen daughter is much happier at school.

“I think that it is much safer for kids to be in school,” she said. “And you know, they are much more engaged in their learning when they are in school, and that’s very important.”

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