According to a report conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mask mandates were effective in schools last fall.
According to a new government analysis, school mask laws helped protect children and employees last autumn as the Delta variety spread.
Ironically, the discovery comes at a time when many school districts in the United States have abandoned disguising policies.
Researchers looked at public school districts in Arkansas from August to October and found that those with mask requirements had 23 percent lower rates of infection among students and staff members than districts without the mandates, according to a study released Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It’s unclear if requiring students to wear masks in school would have helped avoid illnesses with the more contagious Omicron variety.
Scientists have already chastised the CDC for exaggerating the benefits of mask laws.
According to Jonathan Ketcham, an economist specializing in health care at Arizona State University, this new research on masking didn’t account for other coronavirus preventative strategies like ventilation, which could be a “significant fault in the study itself.”
While the study might have contrasted schools with different masking strategies to determine their impact, Jason Abaluck, an economics professor at Yale University’s School of Management who helped conduct a big study on masking in Bangladesh, believes it is an advance over earlier research.
“This study and the overall literature on masking show that in locations where hospitalization and mortality are high, the benefits of mask wearing in schools may be substantial,” he told the New York Times.
The masks, however, can be uncomfortable and make it difficult for youngsters to speak, according to Abaluck.
“Determining how serious an outbreak must be to justify mask mandates in schools necessitates making best predictions about costs, which remain highly unknown given present information,” he told the New York Times.