Is it safe? New research shows impact of in-person schooling on coronavirus cases

Coronavirus

Wanamaker Elementary School is one of many schools statewide that has returned to in-person schooling.

For some students and staff, the change is welcome.

“I can honestly say they’re happy to be back,” said Alice Reinert, a librarian at the school.

Reinert said the return has helped her better connect with students, while keeping them safe.

“I think the students have done a great job of social distancing, and keeping their masks on, and wearing them correctly,” Reinert said.

Students at Wanamaker Elementary School are not the only ones that are working hard to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

A new international study from Spain, where coronavirus has hit hard, shows going to school in person has no major impact on coronavirus cases.

Researchers found that some parts of the country showed a drop in cases after schools reopened, while others stayed the same.
(See full report here: https://biocomsc.upc.edu/en/shared/20201002_report_136.pdf)

Research from the Infectious Diseases Society of America shows that schools are not indicated as “super-spreaders” for the virus, with some surveys showing positivity rates of less than half a percent.

Officials said that may be related to increased precautions.

According to principal Marc Sondereger, students are practicing social distancing and staff sanitize rooms throughout the day to reduce the spread.

But data is limited, and a full return to schools won’t be seen just yet.

“The good news right now is that it doesn’t appear that some of our worst fears were realized,” said Mark Tallman, Associate Executive Director of Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) Advocacy and Communications. “I don’t think we can definitively say that there aren’t some risks that have to be accounted for.”

Most schools in Kansas have returned to class in some capacity for now.

For Reinert, she said the time she can share with students, is her greatest reward, “there’s a certain energy that comes from having a classroom full of kids, and that can’t be replaced.”

For more information on safety procedures used in schools, visit https://www.ksde.org/.

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