by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Keung Hui of the News & Observer has the latest:
Wake County students will not return to in-person instruction for at least another month due to concerns about rising COVID-19 numbers in the community.
The Wake County school board voted 7-2 on Thursday to continue with remote instruction and to reassess the situation in mid-February. Many of Wake’s 157,000 students had been scheduled to resume in-person instruction next Wednesday, following what was originally called a temporary switch to remote learning due to the post-Christmas COVID spike.
The school board’s decision comes days after the publication of a study by Duke University researchers. In a study of COVID-19 infection and transmission in North Carolina public schools, they found no reason to keep schools closed.
Our cohort study demonstrated that enforcing SARS-CoV-2 mitigation policies such as masking, physical distancing, and hand hygiene, resulted in minimal clusters of SARS-CoV-2 infection and low rates of secondary transmission in schools, and did not cause a larger community infection burden. Our data indicate that schools can reopen safely if they develop and adhere to specific SARS-CoV-2 prevention policies.
Many parents in Wake County now must wait and hope that the majority of the school board changes course in February.