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A study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that teachers spread COVID-19 at a higher rate than students.
The study was conducted among nine COVID-19 transmission clusters in elementary schools in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta in December and January.
In one of the nine clusters, a student was the first documented case of infection, while in four other clusters, teachers were the first to become infected, according to Fox News.
Of the nine clusters, eight involved probable teacher-to-student transmission. Two groups saw teachers infecting each other during in-person meetings or lunches, and one teacher infected other students.
“Educators were central to in-school transmission networks,” the report says.
The results are consistent with a British study indicating the most common type of transmission of the virus in schools was from teachers. Similarly, a German study found that transmission rates in schools were three times higher when the first documented case was a teacher.
Following the findings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that schools should pursue “multifaceted” strategies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including reducing teacher-to-teacher meetings, ensuring that masks are worn properly, and increasing physical distancing.