Abandoning masking in schools during the omicron wave increased COVID-19 incidence

Clinical Question

Does universal masking in schools during the omicron wave of COVID-19 provide any benefits?

Bottom line

Many of the United States may be done with COVID-19, but COVID-19 is not done with us. The lifting of masking requirements was associated with an additional 45 cases of COVID-19 cases 1000 students and staff. Universal masking has important benefits during a wave of a pandemic and may be sensible in the context of high rates of influenza and RSV, as well (although this was not studied). 2c

Study design: Time series

Funding: Government

Setting: Population-based


Mark H. Ebell, MD, MS
University of Georgia
Athens, GA

Discuss this POEM


Norman Sabin

POEM 20230112: Study on Masks for school children

Did the authors report on differences in hospital admissions and deaths?

Jacobus Vermaak

What is the objective?

Obviously masking will decrease some of the transmission. - but what is the end goal? Masks for ever? Social distancing forever? Living in isolation forever?


wearing masks in school

decreases incidence of covid


Impact assessment

Very good