‘Schools Can Reopen Safely’: Duke, UNC Doctors Find ‘Extremely Limited’ COVID Spread in Schools | Beaufort County Now | Transmission of the COVID-19 virus has been “extremely limited” in public schools that have reopened in North Carolina, a team of researchers from Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill have found. | carolina journal, schools, reopening, duke, UNC, doctors, coronavirus, covid-19, limited spread, january 12, 2021

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

‘Schools Can Reopen Safely’: Duke, UNC Doctors Find ‘Extremely Limited’ COVID Spread in Schools

Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is Andrew Dunn.

    Transmission of the COVID-19 virus has been "extremely limited" in public schools that have reopened in North Carolina, a team of researchers from Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill have found.

    A new study published this week says only a handful of coronavirus cases can be traced to schools, and no children were found to have transmitted the virus to adults.

    "Our data indicate that schools can reopen safely," if school districts stick to COVID-prevention guidelines, the researchers say.

    The study is set to be published in the January edition of the respected medical journal Pediatrics, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all K-12 public schools to close in mid-March as North Carolina's first COVID cases were beginning to be reported. Some have never reopened; others temporarily brought back students in the fall before closing again. Still others have returned on a limited basis, with many students in the classroom just two days per week.

    Schools that are open require students age 5 or older to wear masks, and school buildings have been modified to allow for 6 feet of social distancing when possible. All students are temperature-checked before entering.

    But with so many schools closed and children at home, State Department of Public Instruction leaders have warned that more students are failing and at risk of repeating a grade than anytime in the past century.

    This study indicates the risk of keeping schools is significantly less than once feared and undercuts arguments that large districts such as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have used to keep schools closed.

How the study was conducted

    At the behest of local school district leaders, Duke and UNC doctors examined 11 school districts that opened for at least the first nine weeks of school and agreed to share data with the research team.

    Researchers meet weekly to discuss findings, and local health departments shared results of contact tracing.

    Over the nine weeks, the study found 773 cases of COVID confirmed by molecular testing among the 90,000 students and staff who attended school. Of these cases, just 32 were presumed to be transmitted within the school. Six of the 11 districts had no cases of within-school infection. Most of the cases of in-school transmission, the study states, came when masks were not worn — for instance, among young children, special needs students, or during lunch.

    Zero instances of child-to-adult transmission were found, the study states.

    Based on these numbers, the researchers concluded that "within-school infections were extremely rare."


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Facebook posted an update Wednesday on their current response to the Feb. 1 military coup in Myanmar that has continued to spark protests and violence in the country.
Key indicators used to guide decisions throughout pandemic show state’s trends are moving in the right direction
Frederick Hess and RJ Martin document for National Review Online a major problem on today’s college campuses.
Twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has just announced that she is teaming up with award-winning author Louise Penny to write a political thriller called “State Of Terror.”
For all of you that believe that the Democratic Socialists did not collude with the Democratic Socialist Propagandist Media, Orwellian in Scope, to defraud over 74 million real voters by millions of fraudulent voters to defeat our best president since Ronald Reagan, pay close attention going forward
Stocks for movie theaters saw a surge this week after Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) said that certain chains in New York City can reopen if they follow Covid-19 safety restrictions.
This article is dedicated to our great Founding Fathers - men who had the courage, the foresight, and the wisdom to secure the freedom that I exercise and enjoy every single day. - Diane Rufino


Republicans in the General Assembly are criticizing Gov. Roy Cooper for his inaction on a bill that would reopen schools for in-person instruction.
Last week, a bipartisan coalition of the Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly passed SB37 to safely reopen North Carolina public schools.
During the last year, many universities throughout North America have declared “anti-racism” to be their official policy.
Jonathan Davis writes at Trending Politics about Florida’s defiance of Biden administration COVID-19 expectations.
With new U.S. Census data not expected until September, the State Board of Elections is recommending moving all of this year’s municipal elections to 2022.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday released its analysis of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot dose COVID-19 vaccine, supporting its authorization for emergency use.
Biden is probably already looking for somebody else.
The State Board of Elections on Tuesday voted unanimously to wait until June 12 to move members of the Constitution and Green parties to unaffiliated status in order to give the parties time to try to gather enough signatures to regain recognition in North Carolina.


Back to Top