Let's Open Schools!

"The truth is, for kids K-12, one of the safest places they can be, from our perspective, is to remain in school, and it's really important that following the data, making sure we don't make emotional decisions about what to close and what not to close," Redfield continued. "I'm here to say clearly the data strongly supports that K-12 schools — as well as institutes of higher learning — really are not where we're having our challenges."


Help us fight for education - Scroll down for links to REAL data & science showing schools should be open now!

“I don’t think I can emphasize it enough, ... it is in the public health interest for these K through 12 students to get the schools back open for face-to-face learning,” Robert Redfield, Director of the CDC, July 31, 2020

Keeping Schools Closed Causes Harm

Schools CAN open SAFELY

Keeping schools closed causes harm: loss of learning, depression, anxiety, abuse, suicides

Daycares are open, private schools are open, stores are open; and our public SCHOOLS SHOULD BE OPEN.

And data and science shows they CAN open SAFELY.

Data shows children are unlikely to get COVID-19.
Data shows children are unlikely to transmit COVID-19 to others.
Videos and other useful links

WA State Stats Under Age 20

Deaths age<20: 0%

Under age 20, WA state 0%

Under age 65, the chance of death from COVID-19 is ~0.02%. This is comparable to the recovery rate of the seasonal flu.

# Depression Cases: 1000s

Both Adults and Children are suffering statewide but our children especially. According to the National Hotline Center, suicide hotline calls are up 600%.

Keeping schools closed causes harm

Click the dropdown links for data and research

Loss of Learning

School shutdowns caused massive loss of learning. If schools do not open in the fall the loss of learning will escalate.

While a few students might have marginal learning with part time virtual instruction offered by most districts this fall, many students need in person interactive learning to excel. Likewise, many students will be at daycare, with babysitters, or without reliable internet or devices making it so virtual instruction is not even possible. Single parents and families where both parents work now must juggle teaching on top of their hectic schedules.

Data and Research Links:

  1. COVID-19 and student learning in the United States: The hurt could last a lifetime

Research study estimating loss of learning for students based on closures in the spring alone (not including the fall) - They estimated "The average loss in our middle epidemiological scenario is seven months. But black students may fall behind by 10.3 months, Hispanic students by 9.2 months, and low-income students by more than a year. We estimate that this would exacerbate existing achievement gaps by 15 to 20 percent.

In addition to learning loss, COVID-19 closures will probably increase high-school drop-out rates. .. The virus is disrupting many of the supports that can help vulnerable kids stay in school: academic engagement and achievement, strong relationships with caring adults, and supportive home environments. In normal circumstances, students who miss more than ten days of school are 36 percent more likely to drop out. In the wake of school closures following natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina (2005) and Hurricane Maria (2017), 14 to 20 percent of students never returned to school.

  1. A national teachers survey by Educators 4 Excellence found that 67% of teacher said student assignment completion rates dropped when they switched to virtual instruction.

  1. Under half of Seattle’s elementary school kids logged in to online learning portal last spring, data shows

Approximately half of the students in the Seattle area used the learning portal in the spring. This means around 50% of students in this age range did not participate and have had zero education since March. The loss of learning is huge.

"Between March and June, only 48% of kindergarten through fifth graders logged on to Schoology, the district’s learning management system where teachers post assignments and announcements. For student populations the district has sworn to serve better, the rates are lower. "

Mental effects: Depression, Anxiety, Substance Abuse, Drug Overdoses, Suicides

According to the CDC director, we’ve seen both more suicides and more drug overdoses among the high school age range than deaths from the coronavirus this year.

“I think that the cost to our nation in continuing to keep these schools closed is substantial", Robert Redfield, CDC Director, July 31, 2020.


Data and Research Links

      1. "Its not safe to keep schools closed". A July research study found risks for both isolation and extended “screen time”. “Research tells us that socially isolated children and adolescents are at risk of depression and anxiety. We know that too much screen time can result in inattention and impulsivity, and mental health disorders in both children and adolescents.”

      1. UW Health research study results show significant and alarming mental health impacts on school closures and sport cancellations

      1. "California doctors say they've seen more deaths from suicide than coronavirus since lockdowns" (May article)

      1. CDC Director says more deaths US wide from suicides and drug overdoes than COVID.

"The toll COVID-19 is taking on high schoolers isn’t imaginary, Redfield said in his remarks — but it isn’t because of the disease itself. According to the CDC director, we’ve seen both more suicides and more drug overdoses among the high school cohort than deaths from the coronavirus. "

      1. Texas hospital sees 'alarming' increase in juvenile suicide patients, nearly one per day last month

Sept 26, 2020 - "Doctors at a North Texas children’s hospital say they’ve seen an “alarming” rise in juvenile suicide patients as children struggle with coronavirus lockdowns and school closures.

The hospital admitted 29 children in August following attempted suicides, and it has admitted 192 this year, which is more than double the amount admitted during the same time period five years ago.

Doctors and hospitals across the country have reported increases in self-harm incidents, including suicides and drug overdoses, since the coronavirus lockdowns began in March.

A study conducted earlier this year by Just Facts concluded that the anxiety and social disruption stemming from the lockdowns could destroy seven times more years of human lives than can be saved by strict lockdowns. "

      1. Social Isolation Is Damaging an Entire Generation of Kids

Sept 8, 2020 - By keeping healthy children under quarantine, we are cruelly depriving them of the in-person free play and social interaction that are critical to their development and emotional well-being.

      1. Experts notice increase in students suffering from mental health crises

oct 9, 2020 - "The long-term impact of social isolation that kids are feeling right now is going to play out for years. I don’t think we really fully appreciate and understand what that is going to look like," said Dr. Robin Henderson of Providence Medical Group. "We have seen an increase in kids showing up in our emergency department in mental health crisis. We know what this is related to, and all I can really want to encourage folks to do is reach out and get help early."

      1. Remote school is putting kids under toxic stress

Aug 2020 - "Toxic stress is repeated and persistent activation of the body’s fight-or-flight response. Researchers in China have already demonstrated children there were affected by it during the initial stages of fighting the pandemic. Now our children face the same risks.

In our clinic, talking with nearly any parent who’s balancing work from home and child care, it is apparent that sitting inside in front of a screen has become the new playing outdoors. The absence from consistent school has probably led to 1 out of every 3 elementary students losing skills in reading and writing.

The disruption of virtual school is increasing the risk this generation of children will suffer from and die of heart disease and diabetes. It could reduce their lifelong earning potential and cripple their mental health.

..As our nation struggles to survive this pandemic, public health and government leaders should consider the impact of keeping children home this fall to endure more isolated distance learning. We are putting an entire generation of children at risk for a lifetime of worse health outcomes "

Potential abuse, neglect, children in harms way

Studies done by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows schools are many children's safe place and life-line. "Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression"


Data and Research Links

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics

(June 25, 2020) "...the AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation.

  1. Sickkids pediatric hospital and research center (largest pediatric hospital in Canada)

(June 17, 2020) "The community based public health measures (national lockdown, school closures, stay at home orders, self-isolation etc.) implemented to mitigate COVID-19 and “flatten the curve” have significant adverse health and welfare consequences for children. Some of these unintended consequences include decreased vaccination coverage, delayed diagnosis and care for non-COVID-19 related medical conditions, and adverse impact on children’s behaviour and mental health.... Several organizations including the American Psychological Association (APA) and World Health Organization have highlighted concerns about the potential impact of lockdown on family discord, exposure to domestic violence, child abuse and neglect.

  1. "Child Abuse Hotline Calls are Down, but Abuse Fears are Up" LA County child abuse calls to DCFS are down 50%. (May article)

Keeping Teachers, Children and the Community Safe

Click the dropdown links for data and research

Keeping children safe from sickness: Children are less likely to get COVID-19, and when they do it is typically much milder than in adults

Research shows that there is only a small chance children will get COVID-19 and if they do get it, it is usually very mild.

IMPLICATION: It is not likely that there will be a COVID outbreak in a school.


Data and Research Links:

  1. October 2020 Update: Facts about Covid-19

Excellent Research Study on COVID 19 Data, Risks and Prevention.

From the summary: 11. Children and schools: In contrast to influenza, the risk of disease and transmission in children is very low in the case of covid. There was and is therefore no medical reason for the closure of elementary schools or other measures specifically aimed at children.

  1. National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (Netherlands)

(June 24, 2020) “Worldwide, relatively few children have been reported with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.”

  1. Acta Paediatrica - Systematic review of COVID‐19 in children shows milder cases and a better prognosis than adults

(March 23, 2020) “The review showed that children have so far accounted for 1%‐5% of diagnosed COVID‐19 cases, they often have milder disease than adults and deaths have been extremely rare.”

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics

(June 25, 2020) "SARS-CoV-2 appears to behave differently in children and adolescents than other common respiratory viruses, such as influenza, on which much of the current guidance regarding school closures is based. Although children and adolescents play a major role in amplifying influenza outbreaks, to date, this does not appear to be the case with SARS-CoV-2. Although many questions remain, the preponderance of evidence indicates that children and adolescents are less likely to be symptomatic and less likely to have severe disease resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, children may be less likely to become infected and to spread infection. Policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within schools must be balanced with the known harms to children, adolescents, families, and the community by keeping children at home."

  1. University of Cambridge Winten Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication

(June 12, 2020) Risk of death by COVID in children was extremely low

  1. Elsevier Public Health Emergency Collection (US Nat’l Library of Medicine)

(May 30, 2020) Note that COVID deaths are significantly lower than influenza deaths for children aged 0-14 in the United States. Percentages of COVID deaths in children are very low in all countries.

Preventing Virus Spread: Keeping Teachers & Community safe from sickness: Studies show children are unlikely to transmit COVID-19 to others

Evidence continues to mount that children do not tend to transmit COVID-19 when the do get it.

IMPLICATION: If a child were to contract COVID, he/she would likely not spread it to anyone at school, including teachers and staff.


Data and Research Links:

  1. National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (Netherlands)

(June 24, 2020) “Data from the Netherlands also confirms the current understanding: that children play a minor role in the spread of the novel coronavirus. The virus is mainly spread between adults and from adult family members to children. The spread of COVID-19 among children or from children to adults is less common.”

  1. BMJ Journals: Children are not COVID-19 super spreaders: time to go back to school

(July 2020) At the current time, children do not appear to be super spreaders. .... Governments worldwide should allow all children back to school regardless of comorbidities.

  1. Eurosurveillance: Europe’s journal on infectious disease surveillance, epidemiology, prevention and control (study from Ireland)

(May 28, 2020) “In summary, examination of all Irish paediatric cases of COVID-19 attending school during the pre-symptomatic and symptomatic periods of infection (n = 3) identified NO cases of onward transmission to other children or adults within the school and a variety of other settings. These included music lessons (woodwind instruments) and choir practice, both of which are high-risk activities for transmission. Furthermore, no onward transmission from the three identified adult cases to children was identified.”

  1. Acta Paediatrica

(May 19, 2020) “We identified 700 scientific papers and letters and 47 full texts [from different countries around the world] were studied in detail. Children accounted for a small fraction of COVID‐19 cases and mostly had social contacts with peers or parents, rather than older people at risk of severe disease…Household transmission studies showed that children were rarely the index case and case studies suggested that children with COVID‐19 seldom caused outbreaks.”

  1. National Centre for Immunization Research and Surveillance (New South Wales)

(April 26, 2020) “SARS-CoV-2 transmission in children in schools appears considerably less than seen for other respiratory viruses, such as influenza. In contrast to influenza, data from both virus and antibody testing to date suggest that children are not the primary drivers of COVID-19 spread in schools or in the community. This is consistent with data from international studies showing low rates of disease in children and suggesting limited spread among children and from children to adults. Data from the whole of NSW also demonstrate children (aged <19 years) represent 4% of all cases of COVID-19 despite being approximately 23% of the population. “

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics

(June 25, 2020) "SARS-CoV-2 appears to behave differently in children and adolescents than other common respiratory viruses, such as influenza, on which much of the current guidance regarding school closures is based. Although children and adolescents play a major role in amplifying influenza outbreaks, to date, this does not appear to be the case with SARS-CoV-2. Although many questions remain, the preponderance of evidence indicates that children and adolescents are less likely to be symptomatic and less likely to have severe disease resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, children may be less likely to become infected and to spread infection. Policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within schools must be balanced with the known harms to children, adolescents, families, and the community by keeping children at home. "

7. Transmission dynamics of SARS‐CoV‐2 within families with children in Greece: a study of 23 clusters

(August 7, 2020) This study in Greece found NO transmission of SARS-Cov2 from children to adults or children to children.


There were 109 household members (66 adults and 43 children). The median attack rate per cluster was 60% (range: 33.4%‐100%). An adult member with COVID‐19 was the first case in 21 (91.3%) clusters. Transmission of infection occurred from an adult to a child in 19 clusters and/or from an adult to another adult in 12 clusters. There was no evidence of child‐to‐adult or child‐to‐child transmission. In total 68 household members (62.4%) tested positive. Children were more likely to have an asymptomatic SARS‐CoV‐2 infection compared to adults (40% versus 10.5%, p‐value=0.021). In contrast, adults were more likely to develop a severe clinical course compared to children (8.8% versus 0%, p‐value=0.021). In addition, infected children were significantly more likely to have a low viral load while adults were more likely to have a moderate viral load (40.7% and 18.5% versus 13.8% and 51.7%, respectively; p‐value=0.016).


While children become infected by SARS‐CoV‐2, they do not appear to transmit infection to others. Furthermore, children more frequently have an asymptomatic or mild course compared to adults. Further studies are needed to elucidate the role of viral load on these findings."

8. Role of children in household transmission of COVID-19

(August 7, 2020) From a study in S. Korea. The only transmission was a 16-year old to a 14-year old. There were NO other transmissions.

" A total of 107 paediatric COVID-19 index cases and 248 of their household members were identified. One pair of paediatric index-secondary household case was identified"

9. COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in COVID-19 transmission

(August 6, 2020) A study from Europe.

"When diagnosed with COVID-19, children are much less likely to be hospitalised or have fatal outcomes than adults."

"Investigations of cases identified in school settings suggest that child to child transmission in schools is uncommon and not the primary cause of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children whose onset of infection coincides with the period during which they are attending school, particularly in preschools and primary schools."

"There is conflicting published evidence on the impact of school closure/re-opening on community transmission levels, although the evidence from contact tracing in schools, and observational data from a number of EU countries suggest that re-opening schools has not been associated with significant increases in community transmission."

"Available evidence also indicates that closures of childcare and educational institutions are unlikely to be an effective single control measure for community transmission of COVID-19 and such closures would be unlikely to provide significant additional protection of children’s health, since most develop a very mild form of COVID-19, if any."

10. Contact Settings and Risk for Transmission in 3410 Close Contacts of Patients With COVID-19 in Guangzhou, China

(August 13, 2020)

This is a study done in China on the correlation between severity of COVID cases and transmission.

"Household contact was the main setting for transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and the risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among close contacts increased with the severity of index cases."

For schools, since children usually have very mild or asymptomatic cases, this confirms a growing body of evidence that children are very unlikely to transmit COVID to others.

11. COVID-19 Transmission and Children: The Child Is Not to Blame

Almost 6 months into the pandemic, accumulating evidence and collective experience argue that children, particularly school-aged children, are far less important drivers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission than adults. Therefore, serious consideration should be paid toward strategies that allow schools to remain open, even during periods of COVID-19 spread. In doing so, we could minimize the potentially profound adverse social, developmental, and health costs that our children will continue to suffer..

12. But what about the "silent spreading" adults? Several studies have been done showing that asymptomatic (where someone who has no symptoms but tests positive for the virus) spreading is very rare, even in an adults. One study (link below) investigated 455 people who were all exposed to an asymptomatic positive person, out of the 455 exposed, 0 got it.

A study on infectivity of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers

Fall 2020: Back to School! Data from Schools that opened in the Fall

As some parts of the US and other countries have reopened their school systems in August and September after planned academic breaks, data shows no outbreaks associated with re-opening.

Data and Studies:

  1. Study: American Academy of Pediatrics: Incidence and Secondary Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Schools

Jan 2021, Peer Reviewed Study: From 08/15/2020–10/23/2020, 11 of 56 school districts participating in ABCs were open for in-person instruction for all 9 weeks of the first quarter and agreed to track incidence and secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

RESULTS: Over 9 weeks, 11 participating school districts had more than 90,000 students and staff attend school in-person; of these, there were 773 community-acquired SARS-CoV-2 infections documented by molecular testing. Through contact tracing, NC health department staff determined an additional 32 infections were acquired within schools. No instances of child-to adult transmission of SARS-CoV-2 were reported within schools.

CONCLUSIONS: In the first 9 weeks of in-person instruction in NC schools, we found extremely limited within-school secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2, as determined by contact tracing.

  1. After 3 weeks of school no COVID outbreaks at private schools, doctor says

Sept 23, 2020 - Tricities WA - Health district leaders are feeling optimistic about getting kids back in the classroom after reports show there has been no outbreaks of coronavirus in any Tri-City private schools.

Dr. Person also says data shows that children aren't the primary spreaders of COVID-19.

Update Oct 3, 2020: One parent, who requested to remain anonymous, reported to the "Lets Open Schools" team that as of the first week of October the private school her daughter has been attending since Sept 1 still has had no outbreaks. Children have attended full time in person and she was not aware of even 1 reported positive case. Similarly, a teacher from a different private school, that also has been open full time for all of September, reported zero cases.

  1. Schools Aren’t Super-Spreaders

In early august, the first kids in America went back to school during the pandemic. Many of these openings happened in areas where cases were high or growing: in Georgia, Indiana, Florida. Parents, teachers, and scientists feared what might happen next.

It’s now October. We are starting to get an evidence-based picture of how school reopenings and remote learning are going .., and the evidence is pointing in one direction. Schools do not, in fact, appear to be a major spreader of COVID-19. .. data on almost 200,000 kids in 47 states from the last two weeks of September revealed an infection rate of 0.13 percent ... Texas with 1,080,317 students estimated at school—a rate of about 0.14 percent. The staff rate was lower, about 0.10 percent.

  1. Florida schools reopened en masse, but a surge in coronavirus didn't follow, a USA TODAY analysis finds

Sept 28, 2020 - A USA TODAY analysis shows the state’s positive case count among kids ages 5 to 17 declined through late September after a peak in July. Among the counties seeing surges in overall cases, it’s college-age adults – not schoolchildren – driving the trend, the analysis found.

  1. No link between schools opening and rising COVID-19 cases, data shows

1 October 2020 – Widespread reopening of schools around the world following the vacation break has generally not been associated with rising COVID-19 infection rates, according to a report published today by Insights for Education, an independent foundation dedicated to analysing education evidence and providing actionable recommendations for education leaders

  1. No link between schools and coronavirus infection rates, global analysis suggests

But 711 million children globally remain out of school, the majority in lower-and middle-income countries

There appears to be no link between schools reopening and rising Covid-19 cases, according to an analysis of data from 191 countries.

  1. U.S. schools in suburbs, small cities reopening without COVID spike; big cities up next

Oct 2 (Reuters) - U.S. schools from kindergarten to high school have avoided a spike in COVID-19 cases, early data show.

Over 700 primary, middle and high schools that have at least partially reopened, reported that 0.07% of students and 0.14% of staff had a confirmed coronavirus infection in the first half of September, according to data collected by Brown University.

Data shows 99.93% of students and 99.86% of staff who have been attending school in person for the last month remain covid-free.

  1. Superintendent of Schools for Archdiocese of Boston reports less than 0.03% cases in schools that have been open for the last 4 weeks

(Oct 6th). "Many of our Catholic schools have been offering in-person instruction for 4 weeks as of Tuesday. We have less than 12 positive COVID-19 cases out of over 31,316 students and over 4,000 teachers and staff. All cases from outside school. Zero cases of spread at school."

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics - COVID-19 Transmission in US Child Care Programs Study

Methods : Data were obtained from U.S. child care providers (N=57,335) reporting whether they had ever tested positive or been hospitalized for COVID-19 (N=427 cases), along with their degree of exposure to child care. Background transmission rates were controlled statistically, and other demographic, programmatic, and community variables were explored as potential confounders.

Results : No association was found between exposure to child care and COVID-19 in both unmatched (odds ratio [OR], 1.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82 to 1.38) and matched (OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.73 to 1.21) analyses. In matched analysis, being a home-based provider (as opposed to center-based) was associated with COVID-19 (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.14 to 2.23), but showed no interaction with exposure.

Data from other countries that opened schools: No outbreaks


In Germany, a July study found that having schools opened actually seemed to stop spread rather than increase it. Instead of fears that schools would become hotspots for transmission, “It is rather the opposite,” said study director Reinhard Berner, Director of the Polyclinic for Children and Adolescent Medicine at the Dresden University Hospital. “Children act more like a brake on the infection. Not every infection that reaches them is passed on.” Saxony’s Minister of Education said the study shows that the decision was right to reopen schools early and that schools should continue as normal in the fall, even if the overall infection rate should increase again.

"We are going into the summer vacation 2020 with an immunity status that is no different from that in March 2020. Of the more than 2000 blood samples examined, only 12 were able to detect antibodies, which corresponds to a share of well below one percent. This means that a silent, symptom-free infection in the pupils and teachers examined by us has so far occurred less frequently than we suspected.

“These results of the investigation provide evidence that virus transmission in families is not as dynamic as previously thought. More than 20 of the examined subjects had at least one proven corona case in the family; however, antibodies were found in only one of these study participants, which would mean that the majority of schoolchildren did not go through an infection despite an infection in the household. This finding must also be taken into account when it comes to deciding on measures to limit contact ”.

“Fortunately, we were able to determine that hotspots did not develop in the selected age group and in the schools examined, neither before the lockdown nor after the reopening. Four out of five students, i.e. 80 percent, stated that they had regular social contacts beyond their class group and the family. That also apparently did not lead to a further spread of the virus. "


From the article: "Imagine state governments announcing they plan to shut down schools until there is a cure for breast cancer. That is essentially the logic they are employing to shut schools because of a virus that does not affect children in any statistical or clinical way.

It has already been proven that children have a much higher risk of dying in a lightning strike or a car accident than from COVID-19. Also, almost all children who get the virus are either asymptomatic or are less sick then they are from the flu, and we never close school for the flu and cold season. The only defense left for the side that wants to continue the child abuse and close schools is that somehow opening schools will help them transmit the virus and kill Granny. Not so, according to a new study of 100 schools in the U.K., the largest one conducted to date.

The Public Health England research is slated to be published later this year, but researchers have already confirmed from monitoring 20,000 students and teachers in around 100 schools across England during the partially reopened summer term that there is very little evidence of school spread. "


In the spring, Sweden did not close its daycare centers or schools, and, according to recent studies, it had little bearing on infection rates.

Sweden reported just 2.1% of all cases were school-aged children during the period spanning from March, when the outbreak began, to the close of the school year in mid-June.

“Finland kept the schools closed, and we kept them open. And it seems like, at least in our context, it didn’t make a huge difference, neither to the pandemic, nor to the number of children falling ill,” chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, said in a July interview. “They very seldomly get seriously ill, and they don’t seem to spread the infection very much to other parts of the society.”

Other Countries

Denmark, Austria, Norway, Finland, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and other countries that have reopened classrooms have not seen any outbreaks in schools or day-care centers. A July issue of UK’s The Times reports, “There has been no recorded case of a teacher catching the coronavirus from a pupil anywhere in the world.

Keeping classrooms safe: Will masks help?

The benefits from masks is currently disputed by world experts, however most experts agree that improper use of masks could cause more harm.

Many experts agree that children (especially young children) will not use masks correctly causing more spread than preventing. Likewise mask wearing also inhibits learning and communication.

Promoting good hand hygiene, strict rules on sick children and staff remaining home, and cohorting classrooms should be emphasized to keep our schools safe. Because the risk of sickness and spread is so extremely low and improper mask use high, children (especially younger children) should be allowed to have recess, sit close to each other and have small group activities without requiring masks.

Data Research and Links

1. Sickkids is a pediatric hospital and research center in Canada. They have issued a document (June 17, 2020) with recommendations for reopening schools. They recommend against children wearing masks:

  • Lack of evidence that masks prevent spread of SARS-Cov-2 in children

  • Likelihood of increased risk of infection due to improper use (see CDC study below)

  • Mask irritation can lead to increased touching of face and thus increased risk of infection

  • Impractical: procedures for putting on & taking off, appropriate storage when mask is off

  • Improper disposal by children can lead to other children playing with them

2. An Evidence Based Scientific Analysis of Why Masks are Ineffective, Unnecessary, and Harmful

Jim Meehan, MD (Oct 2020) - This is an excellent extremely detailed scientific analysis of mask usage and studies. Key points brought up by Dr. Meehan:

  • Decades of the highest-level scientific evidence (meta-analyses of multiple randomized controlled trials) overwhelmingly conclude that medical masks are ineffective at preventing the transmission of respiratory viruses, including SAR-CoV-2.

  • Those arguing for masks are relying on low-level evidence (observational retrospective trials and mechanistic theories), none of which are powered to counter the evidence, arguments, and risks of mask mandates.

  • The majority of the population is at very low to almost no risk of severe or lethal disease from CoVID-19. Children are at an extraordinarily low risk of dying from CoVID-19. Based on CDC published data, 99.99815% of children that contract CoVID-19 survive.

  • Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among children in schools and daycares is very rare.

  • Masks worn properly are well documented to cause harm to their wearers. Masks worn improperly, re-used, or contaminated are dangerous.

  • Any reasonable risk to benefit analysis of medical masks concludes that the risks overwhelmingly outweigh the benefits.

  • Children are at imminent risk of harm from mask mandates.

3. (May, 2020) "Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings" (Centers for Disease Control)

"Proper use of face masks is essential because improper use might increase the risk for transmission."

"Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza."

4 (May 21, 2020) "Universal Masking in Hospitals in the COVID-19 Era" (New England Journal of Medicine)

"We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic."

"A mask will not protect providers caring for a patient with active Covid-19 if it’s not accompanied by meticulous hand hygiene, eye protection, gloves, and a gown. A mask alone will not prevent health care workers with early Covid-19 from contaminating their hands and spreading the virus to patients and colleagues. Focusing on universal masking alone may, paradoxically, lead to more transmission of Covid-19 if it diverts attention from implementing more fundamental infection-control measures."

"It is also clear that masks serve symbolic roles. Masks are not only tools, they are also talismans that may help increase health care workers’ perceived sense of safety, well-being, and trust in their hospitals. Although such reactions may not be strictly logical, we are all subject to fear and anxiety, especially during times of crisis. One might argue that fear and anxiety are better countered with data and education than with a marginally beneficial mask"

5. “We should never require a child to wear a mask. Not only is it ineffective but it could actually be harmful. It increases learning disorders. It increases anxiety. It reduces the ability for that child to bond with their teachers.

It’s a form of child abuse to require face coverings on a small child in a school setting.

Stop scaring the public unnecessarily!”

Dr Jeffrey Barke MD

6. CDC Study Finds Overwhelming Majority Of People Getting Coronavirus Wore Masks

Oct 2020 - A Centers for Disease Control report released in September shows that masks and face coverings are not effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, even for those people who consistently wear them. Click the link above to read the article which also links directly to the CDC data showing that over 70% of the people studied who got COVID, wore a mask 100% of the time.

7. Effectiveness of Adding a Mask Recommendation to Other Public Health Measures to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Danish Mask Wearers

Nov 18, 2020 - Randomized controlled trial (DANMASK-19 [Danish Study to Assess Face Masks for the Protection Against COVID-19 Infection]) completed in April and May 2020.

Conclusion: The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers ....

Study: A total of 3030 participants were randomly assigned to the recommendation to wear masks, and 2994 were assigned to control; 4862 completed the study. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 occurred in 42 participants recommended masks (1.8%) and 53 control participants (2.1%). The between-group difference was −0.3 percentage point... With over 3000 participants the difference was negligible and showed no significant difference between the group that wore them all the time and the group that did not wear them.

Keeping classrooms safe: Review of social distancing for young children

Children are less likely to get COVID, or spread the virus when they do get it (see above). Because of this we must analyze the benefits verses costs of forcing children (especially young children) to "social distance" or stay-apart.

What do experts say about distancing at school?

  1. Sickkids is a pediatric hospital and research center in Canada. They have issued a document (June 17, 2020) with recommendations for reopening schools. Sickkids says “The objective of physical distancing is to reduce the likelihood of contact that may lead to transmission and has been a widely used strategy during the pandemic. However, strict physical distancing should not be emphasized to children in the school setting as it is not practical and could cause significant psychological harm. Close interaction, such as playing and socializing is central to child development and should not be discouraged.”

They suggest arranging furniture with some space between as well as holding classes outside when possible. HOWEVER,

The “daily school schedule routine should NOT be disrupted to accommodate smaller classes for physical distancing.”

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics

(June 25, 2020) " In many school settings, 6 feet between students is not feasible without limiting the number of students. Evidence suggests that spacing as close as 3 feet may approach the benefits of 6 feet of space...schools should weigh the benefits of strict adherence to a 6-feet spacing rule between students with the potential downside if remote learning is the only alternative. Strict adherence to a specific size of student groups (eg, 10 per classroom, 15 per classroom, etc) should be discouraged in favor of other risk mitigation strategies. "

Useful videos and links

The following videos and other links offer additional information on why it is safe to open schools.

  1. July 23 - The CDC recommends in person schooling.

  2. AAPS - Physicians Letter: Reopen America. It is imperative that the public schools be opened on schedule this fall. The educational, psychological, and social impact of sheltering at home has been devastating. Although many districts have made heroic efforts at teaching on-line, the lack of routine, isolation, and inability to effectively interact with students has been a poor substitute for the schoolroom. Children are the least susceptible to significant COVID-19 disease.

  3. Dr. Atlas: “There is no science behind having children not attend schools. There is zero science for having children wear masks or have spacing when they have zero risk from the disease.

  4. Gov. Kristi Noem: Science Shows Not Going To School Hurts Kids Much Worse Than COVID. Science shows the coronavirus doesn’t impact children even on the same level as the flu, and keeping kids out of school harms them in a multitude of ways.

  5. Schools MUST go “Back to Normal” in the Fall—A Scientist’s Perspective

  6. Reopen the Schools! These big disruptions to the education system are not necessary to fight COVID-19.

  7. July 2020 - Let them learn - The risks of keeping schools closed far outweigh the benefits

  8. Phil Kerpen (Committee to Unleash Prosperity) presents multiple data supporting opening schools and showing why it is harmful to students NOT to open schools. Data included from CDC, AAP, Nat'l Institute on Aging, Nat'l Institute on Child Health and Human Development, U. of Michigan, Florida St. U., and a joint study by the national institutes of health in Sweden and Finland. Multiple studies are referenced and linked in THIS DOCUMENT.

  9. Sen. Scott Jensen MD - Speaking to legislators - Keeping kids home / scaring kids with masks / we are hurting children - Get them back in school!

  10. Senator Rand Paul discusses reopening schools and shares more data from other countries that confirms that we can open safely! Click HERE to watch the video. (also below)

  11. Dr. Denis Rancourt discusses multiple studies which show masks are not effective. Click HERE to read the article and to find direct links to the research he discusses.

  12. Dr. Kelly Victory discusses how viruses work, science specific to COVID, and how COVID affects children. She explains why it is safe and important to return to our normal lives including allowing children to go back to school without masks and without distancing. Click HERE to watch the video.

  13. We are going through a collective trauma’: Foster children in Spokane face major stresses during pandemic

  14. "A Scientific Look At the Mask Fallacy - and Why We're Told to Wear Them" - This article looks at treatments for COVID that are inexpensive and over 90% effective. Click HERE to read.

South Dakota opening schools

Sen. Paul schools safely opened in other countries

Signup Today - Help Open our Schools

Right now, the best decision we can make for our kids — for their full development and well-being — is to get them back into school. Their futures — and ours — depend on it.

How can you help?

Join an upcoming event, review and send the "Open our Schools" letter to your local district, and sign up to help below!!

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Right now, a crucial bill in the U.S. Senate would allow federal tax dollars to follow children to the school of their parents' choice, including public, private, charter and homeschools. The Support Children Having Open Opportunities for Learning (SCHOOL) Act, proposed by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, will allow parents to choose how their education tax dollars will be spent on their own children.

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