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Mask mandates rendered useless to stop COVID spread in schools, new study finds

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – School districts across the United States and Indiana required kids to wear masks during COVID-19. But did they really help stop the spread?

According to a new study by researchers in Spain, the answer is no.

Scientists assessed close to 600,000 children ages 3 to 11 from schools across Spain.

Preschoolers between the ages of 3 and 5 did not have a school mask mandate, but students between the ages of 6 and 11 were required to wear face coverings. 

Findings showed children ages 3 to 4 had lower rates of transmission and infection compared to kids between the ages of 6 and 11. In addition, the number of COVID cases–even with the mask mandates in place–was found to be higher in 6-year-olds compared to 5-year-olds. 

The authors of the study said, “Face covering mandates in schools were not associated with lower SAR-Co-2 incidence or transmission, suggesting that this intervention was not effective. Instead, age-dependency was the most important factor in explaining the transmission risk for children attending school.”

It is important to note that this paper has not yet been peer-reviewed.