Astudy of 17 schools in south Wood County that implemented measures such as mask wearing to limit the spread of COVID-19 shows that cases among students and teachers who participated in inperson learning remained “very low.” 

These were the findings of a study conducted September to November 2020 in K-12 schools by Amy Falk, a pediatrician with Aspirus Doctors Clinic in Wisconsin Rapids. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the study’s report on Jan. 26. 

During 13 weeks of in-person learning, seven students and zero staff were known to get COVID-19 at school. During the same time period, among those tested in the community for COVID-19, daily positive tests ranged from seven to 40 percent, depending on the day. 

“This data indicates that with important safety measures such as universal masking, transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in schools appears very low,” Falk said.

During September to November 2020, COVID-19 cases and compliance with mask use were investigated in 4,876 students and 654 staff in 17 K-12 schools in south Wood County. 

Schools opened and implemented measures to limit the spread, including wearing masks, establishing groups of 11 to 20 students, quarantining after exposures, and staff maintaining six feet of distance if possible. Investigators found that teachers reported more than 92 percent of students used masks.