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University of Michigan study shows mask mandates at schools show lower COVID transmission rates

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Masks in Schools

Data shows mask mandates at Mid-Michigan schools help lower cases

LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - “This is a study exactly about this situation. It doesn’t get more specific than this study, which is about kids in school with masks and without masks,” said American Medical Association Chairman Dr. Bobby Mukkamala.

New data from the University of Michigan and the state health department shows Michigan students who attended schools with mask requirements at the beginning of the school year, had lower rates of coronavirus transmission than those at schools without mandates.

The rate of infection reached an average of about 45 cases per 100 thousand students by late September in school districts with mask mandates.

Virus spread was 62% higher in school districts without mask rules- where the infection rate averaged 73 cases per 100 thousand students by late September.

Information that is not at all surprising to Mukkamala.

“You know it’s one thing if it’s just sort of a gut feeling well, you know, we think mass work so why don’t we just go ahead and ask kids to wear them in school, but this is way beyond that right this is more than a gut feeling this is data, you know one more study that shows the effectiveness, and not just masks in general, but particular to this situation” Mukkamala said.

Dr. Mukkamala said that unfortunately, it’s become much more difficult to convince people of the science behind the data.

“I’m a believer in that data and I’ve been trying to sort of share that data with people but you’ve seen exactly what’s happened in our communities is that there’s a deep division that isn’t necessarily data driven, but perhaps more sort of social science and politics driven that’s made it a little bit harder for people to accept what again was confirmed by the recent study,”Mukkamala said.

Dr. Mukkamala hopes the study will help Michigan get back on track in the fight against coronavirus.

“I want to see kids stay in the classroom right I just got a message from one of our local hospitals and the last time I got a message from them we were sitting at, you know 13,15,18 cases at each of the frequent area hospitals. Now they’re sitting at 30, 40, 60 cases, almost all of them are unvaccinated. And so, you know tripled the number from just a few weeks ago, while the country’s numbers are going in the right direction. We in Michigan specifically are going in the wrong direction still and I just, I mean I would love to see that flatten out and start going down,” Mukkamala said.

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