by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
This week, Dr. Danny Benjamin and Dr. Kanecia Zimmerman of the ABC Science Collaborative will appear before the North Carolina State Board of Education to report on the prevalence of COVID-19 in public schools after the passage of The Reopen Our Schools Act of 2021.
Here is a summary of their findings:
1) As anticipated, there were cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina schools; however, there was very limited reported within school transmission (42 cases of within-school transmission across 751 schools).
2) North Carolina Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and charter schools are preventing within-school transmission of COVID-19. Their performance to date is outstanding.
3) Preliminary data suggest that if LEAs and charter schools follow the NC DHHS StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12) and adhere to the mask mandate, they effectively mitigate within-school transmission of COVID-19 in Plan A.
4) Based on data from March and April, masking appears to be adequate to prevent transmission on buses regardless of the number of children per seat (1, 2, or 3).
5) Based on the data previously presented to the North Carolina General Assembly (August 2020-February 2021), within-school transmission of COVID-19 in Plan A appears to be similar to within-school transmission in Plan B.