On July 30th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a Executive order Local school districts are forbidden to require students to wear masks, claiming that the school’s regulations on wearing masks lack “scientific and well-founded evidence”. On August 27, a judge in Leon County, Florida Suspending the governor’s ban, DeSantis’ office insisted that there was no evidence that masks could prevent school infections and issued a copy statement The ruling was “not based on science and facts.” (The order is currently being appealed.)
DeSantis was wrong.The same goes for Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who banned schools in the state from requiring masks and Some school districts are being sued Empower them. Multiple pieces of evidence from various disciplines (including materials science, infectious diseases, pediatrics, and epidemiology) show that masks can help protect children and teachers from COVID-19 in schools.
First, laboratory experiments have shown that masks can block respiratory droplets and aerosols that spread SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID).exist A test, David Rothamer, a mechanical engineer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his team used a machine in the classroom to pump out particles the same size as the virus-carrying particles. Researchers placed several CPR dummies wearing masks around the room and measured the degree of aerosol penetration through the masks.One surgical mask is paired with one Soft frame to ensure fit Reduce According to the statistical probability model, compared with not wearing a mask, the chance of infiltration and infection has increased 382 times. Rothamer said that even if real-world conditions produce lower numbers, masks can significantly reduce the spread of the virus.
In that real world, several epidemiological studies also show that wearing masks in schools is effective.Researchers in ABC Science Cooperation From August 2020 to July 2021, the state of North Carolina mandates data on more than 1 million K-12 students and staff who wear masks in schools. fall, winter Or summer months. Even in communities outside of schools, the level of COVID cases fluctuates and mitigation strategies have changed, but incidents are still low. “Wearing masks in school seems to be the unifying theme of all these periods,” said Ibukun Kalu, a member of the team and director of Duke University’s Department of Pediatric Infection Prevention Medicine. “When we looked at cases where mask measures were implemented-such as covering up students, faculty and staff, and everyone in the K-12 environment-we saw that the transmission rate within the school was as low as 1%.”
Schools in other states that do not use masks continuously, such as Georgia with Florida, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported multiple COVID outbreaks that occurred between 2020 and 2021.In California this spring, an unvaccinated elementary school teacher took off his mask many times to read Triggered to students Outbreak of highly infectious Delta variants, According to another CDC study. A total of 26 people were infected, including 12 of the 24 students in the teacher’s class, and the infection rate was as high as 50%. The infection spread to six students in a single grade elsewhere in the building and moved outside the school, infecting eight family members of the affected students. The virus genome of the infected person is the same or very similar to the virus analyzed by the teacher, indicating that the individual is the source. Although people abide by the physical distance guidelines, use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in classrooms, and open doors and windows for ventilation, an epidemic has occurred.
Masks combined with other preventive measures can reduce the risk of students taking the virus home to their parents or other relatives. This is a big problem because adults are more likely to get severe COVID.one online survey A study of 2.1 million Americans by researchers at Johns Hopkins University showed that families with children who go to school in person have a 38% increased risk of COVID-related diseases. However, as the number of school-based mitigation measures (such as mandatory mask wear, daily symptom screening, and cancelled extracurricular activities) has increased, this risk has declined. When seven or more measures are in place, the increased risk will disappear.For a long time, experts have been advocating a method Rely on multiple additional layers of protection-Some to protect the individual, some to protect the collective-recognize that no single intervention is a panacea.
Research conducted in the wider community outside of schools provides the strongest real-world evidence that masks can stop the spread of COVID. An international research team conducted a randomized controlled trial involving nearly 350,000 people in 600 villages in rural Bangladesh. Half of the villages received free cloth or surgical masks and carried out promotional activities to encourage their use. The other half didn’t. Researchers found that this intervention has significantly curbed the spread of the coronavirus, especially in villages that received surgical masks.The research results were published in an article in early September Preprinted paper Is now considering publication by the magazine science.
Kalu said that no matter how good the research is, it is impossible to completely silence opponents. “I think the opponents will always be there until we get to this point-if we do it,” she pointed out.
But Rothamer pointed out that the effectiveness of masks in schools is not supported by one but many different studies and tests. “The best evidence in science,” he said, comes from many studies, “most of them show the same thing.” Rothamer said, when you put together the steady stream of research that has been done so far – except for the quotation here In addition to the research, there are more than a dozen studies-the accumulation of evidence points to the same conclusion: masks are effective.