UPDATED 8:41 AM PT – Wednesday, January 27, 2021
The CDC is now making the case for schools reopening. In a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday, CDC researchers noted that the kind of virus spread seen in crowded offices and long-term care facilities has not been reported in schools.
While in-school transmission has occurred, researchers said there is “little evidence” that it contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.
Several people have agreed with these findings, including Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) who said his state hasn’t seen an increase in coronavirus cases where schools have been open compared to where they have been closed.
“The majority of our school districts have been in-person all year long,” he stated. “And we have seen no increase of the virus in the areas where the schools have been fully open compared to areas of our state, including some of our cities, where schools have not been in session.”
Polis added, students did not just “go back to school” like they did last year or the year before.
“This is mask-wearing, this is protecting cohorts, this is using ventilation and distancing where possible,” he explained. “Our state is supplying free medical-grade masks to teachers, we’re providing two tests per week to every educator, so all of these things combined make schools one of the safer places that you can be during this pandemic.”
Researchers said Colorado schools were largely successful in preventing transmission because of how seriously they took these new safety precautions.
Last year, schools across the country closed and many remained closed out of fear that allowing students and staff to return to classrooms would contribute to a community-wide outbreak. In doing so, thousands of children suffered socially, emotionally and academically.
“There’s no substitute for in-person learning, and there’s no negotiating about the health and safety of students, families and educators,” said New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D). “And I believe the planning and hard work has paid off, and our state has developed a solid epidemiologically sound plan for a safe expansion of in-person learning.”
Grisham added, every school district in the state will be able to welcome kids of all ages back to the classroom on February 8.
— Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) January 27, 2021