The reopening of schools that began in the last week of July 2021 was riddled with fear for the safety of children, especially in a time of the highly contagious delta variant. To curb the spread of the virus while re-welcoming students to campus, schools have adopted different safety, health, and education protocols such as the hybrid learning model and the observance of mask-wearing.
While resuming physical classes has been quite the challenge so far, a newfound hope is presenting itself with more children getting vaccinated against COVID-19. As of August 29, 2021, the Biden administration reports that half of the adolescents in the U.S. (ages 12 to 17) have received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
As the cherry on top of this good news, the vaccination rate for teenagers is steadily and rapidly rising, growing faster than inoculation rates among other age groups. This is an important milestone, especially as more schools open their gates and resume physical classes.
Better School Precautions, Lower COVID-19 Case Rates Among Children
Officials in California spearheaded a study of COVID-19 cases among children and adolescents who have returned to physical classroom settings. The research revealed that COVID-19 case rates among children were 3 ½ times lower in schools that followed guidelines on mask-wearing and social distancing. Another study revealed that COVID-19 cases among children and adolescents were higher in states with no mask mandates and low vaccination rates.
These studies provide evidence that safe school reopenings are possible with the observance of health and safety precautions, including:
- Physical distancing
- Mass COVID testing
- Hybrid models of instruction
- Other virus measures
What Higher Vaccination Rates Among Children Mean for Education
With half of U.S. children and adolescents partially protected against COVID-19, there is hope for continuing education. Half the battle has been overcome, and we’re a world closer to effectively reverting back to intimate learning models.
As vaccination rates among teens continue to increase, U.S. schools are looking at a near-future of being able to relax COVID-19 safety measures and focus on providing quality education. However, despite being fully vaccinated, the CDC still recommends continuously wearing face masks to prevent being a carrier of the virus and harming unvaccinated individuals.
In line with schools’ efforts to make physical classes and hybrid learning more intuitive and resemblant of normal educational models, speech-language pathologists recommend the use of clear masks.
Jelli M1 transparent face masks are engineered with a clear plastic panel to avoid covering the mouth, empowering important educational supplements such as lip-reading, facial expression, and non-verbal cues. Using clear mask alternatives in the educational setting can boost the quality of in-person education in the time of a pandemic. Browse our products and get your clear mask today.