Missouri is partnering with the CDC, Washington University and St. Louis University to help local K-12 schools and public health leaders review current COVID-19 measures. CDC workers arrived over the weekend to begin working on the first-ever pilot project within elementary and secondary schools.

Missouri officials begin work on first-ever COVID-19 study within K-12 schools

The effort will track COVID-19 infections among students and staff based upon whether they were wearing masks in school when they came into close contact with someone infected with the virus. They will be tested over a 30-day period.

Schools participating in the project are being identified in St. Charles, St. Louis, and Greene Counties. Participation of students, workers and employees is voluntary.

During a Missouri Board of Education meeting this week, State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education spokeswoman Mallory McGowin says the project is being piloted for the next couple weeks until schools go on winter break.

“And then the entire data collection and review process is anticipated to be completed within about three months. So likely when schools resume in the new calendar year, there will be more of ability to add participating districts,” she says. “The project will also involve a survey of school-based mitigation strategies. That survey will be sent to schools throughout the state to help the researchers and medical professionals working on this project better understand the measures that are being implemented across the state.”

The findings could lead to additional health measures being taken.

The results of the study will be published for the nation’s school systems to see.

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