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Health experts explain how to keep kids in school amid virus outbreaks

Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 7:43 PM EST
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N.C. (WITN) - As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the risk of students catching the virus has risen as well.

However, health experts have been exploring ways students can return to school safely.

With just one week until many students in Eastern Carolina return to school, Duke health experts are learning about new ways for kids to stay in school even if they’re exposed to the coronavirus.

A number of Duke doctors teamed up with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a study on universal school masking.

The doctors revealed that 1/3 of students quarantined this past semester and that they believe if the study is carried out further, quarantines could be lessened for children to allow them to get back to the classrooms quicker.

“If everybody is masked, you don’t have to test, you don’t have to quarantine,” Dr. Danny Benjamin, Duke professor of pediatrics said.

“But if you are unmasked in a universal masking district or unmasked for a brief time like at lunch or basketball practice or what have you... you can do a test to stay.”

Dr. Danny Benjamin, Duke professor of pediatrics

Benjamin elaborated, saying under the study’s findings, school districts would adopt universal policies and follow those guidelines. Exposed students would also be tested 3 times after their initial exposure.

Many school boards in Eastern Carolina, including Pitt County, will soon vote to extend or end mask mandates. The Pitt County Board of Education meeting is Monday night.

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