Masks, COVID tests could prevent at least half of school infections, study shows

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 2:29 PM EDT
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(CNN) – Masking and testing could help prevent coronavirus infections in at least half of susceptible K-12 students, according to research by North Carolina State University.

Pairing universal mask use with randomized COVID testing could reduce the proportion of infected students by three-quarters, the research shows.

The same research said that without any mitigation measures, between 75% and 90% of susceptible students may get infected in the first three months of school.

Susceptible students are those who aren’t vaccinated or don’t have natural immunity. That’s estimated to be up to half of incoming students.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, some 36% of children 12 to 15 and 46% of those 16 to 17 are fully vaccinated.

Vaccines are not yet available for children younger than 12.

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