TOPEKA — Kansas public schools without a mask mandate report COVID-19 illnesses at more than four times the rate of schools where a face covering is required.
The numbers of cases traced to COVID-19 outbreaks at schools were included in an update Wednesday from a panel of medical professionals and administrators responsible for providing guidance to school districts and parents. The Safer Classrooms Workgroup reported 462 new cases of COVID-19 among students in 88 district in the past week.
Marci Nielsen, chief COVID-19 coordination adviser to Gov. Laura Kelly, said schools that encourage but don’t require masks or have no mask policy have reported 218 cases per 100,000 students from outbreaks connected to those schools. For schools where a mask is required, the case rate is 47.