A new study has found that teachers may be more important drivers of COVID-19 transmission in schools than students.

Paper released on monday Nine COVID-19 transmission clusters were studied by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention in elementary schools in Atlanta and suburban Marrietta in December and January, including a cluster where 16 teachers, students and relatives of students at home were infected.

Of the nine clusters, only one student was clearly the first documented case, while one teacher was the first documented case in four clusters. In another four, the first case was unclear. Eight of the nine groups include potential teacher-to-student transmission. The two groups observed that teachers infect each other during a teacher meeting or lunch, then a teacher infects other students.

“Teachers were central to the in-school transmission network,” the authors wrote.


The findings, according to studies in the United Kingdom that were found to be teacher-to-teacher, were the most common type of school transmission, and a German study that found a transmission rate in school when the first documented case was a teacher. In some US districts, schools have to go all-virtual because too many teachers have been exposed to the virus.

Other research has suggested that there is less transmission of the virus in schools and should be reopened for in-person instruction, a message that President Joe Biden’s administration has led to mixed success in recent weeks. The 8,700-student Marita District, like a handful of people in Georgia, has been offering in-person classes since the fall. Superintendent Grant Rivera said that more than 90% of the primary students returned.

In some US districts, schools have to go all-virtual because too many teachers have been exposed to the virus.

In some US districts, schools have to go all-virtual because too many teachers have been exposed to the virus.

All Marietta groups included “less than ideal physical disturbances”, with students often separated by less than 3 feet, although plastic dividers were placed on desks.

The authors wrote, “Due to the high number of in-person students and class students, physical disturbances of more than 6 feet were not possible.”

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In seven cases, transmission can occur during small-group instruction sessions, where teachers were for students. Although the authors stated that they saw students wearing masks, the interview found that “inadequate use of masks” by students could contribute to the spread of infection in groups of five.

The CDC again advised that schools need to pursue “multilateral” strategies to prevent the spread of the virus, including cutting teacher-to-teacher meetings, ensuring masks are worn correctly and physically Increase disturbances, especially when people don’t wear masks during meals.

Rivera said the school district has resumed education in elementary classrooms, ensuring that students and teachers spend less than 15 minutes at a time in small groups and when children learn rugs for reading or other activities But when assembled, they are excluded.

Rivera said that the district is using Friday not for class time, but for teacher collaboration. Now, the district is encouraging teachers to stay apart.

“We told teachers that all teacher collaboration should take place virtually,” Rivera said.

He It also stated that chairs were removed from the teachers’ workers, that copy machines have been moved to other locations in some cases, and that teachers who plan to dine with a colleague have been told That they should eat outside.

The biggest struggle is student food. Students were placed in classrooms to limit movement and interaction, but now classes are being encouraged to eat outside, with some going to larger venues such as cafeterias, gyms or auditoriums, especially in full classrooms. But it may reduce some other goals.

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“To be honest, I’m really struggling with it,” Rivera said.

The study also noted that in addition to those strategies, it may be desirable to vaccinate teachers for the safety of teachers, cut transmission to school, and operate schools individually, although the CDC stated that teacher immunization ” No need to reopen ”School. “