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Masks are helping keep students safe from COVID, new studies say. Latest COVID-19 updates

  • September 25, 2021

a flash point in school districts across the nation as students went back to school late this summer, but studies keep showing the policies are helping prevent students from catching COVID-19.

Two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies released Friday found outbreaks and pediatric cases were more common when schools didn’t mandate masks.

One study of about 1,000 schools in two Arizona counties says schools without mask mandates were 3.5 times more likely to have outbreaks than schools that started the year with a mask mandate. Another study of hundreds of U.S. counties found an increased rate of pediatric cases in areas where schools didn’t have mask mandates.

Authors cautioned that a number of variables could affect the analysis, but the findings fall in line with what experts have long said: Masks provide instantaneous — although imperfect — protection from infection.

moments before an in-studio interview with Vice President Kamala Harris.

📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 42.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 686,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 231 million cases and 4.7 million deaths. More than 182.9 million Americans — 55.1% of the population — have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘 What we’re reading: More than 20 million Americans are eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots. Should you get one? Read the full story.

Keep refreshing this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

Civil rights complaint filed against Idaho as the state rations medical resources

An advocacy group has filed a complaint against Idaho, alleging the state is discriminating against older adults with its guidance for crisis standards of care amid overwhelming COVID cases.

The state said it would allow health care facilities to ration care while they are dealing with surging COVID cases in the state with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

Hospitals are allowed to allot scarce resources, such as intensive care unit rooms, to patients most likely to survive, and make other dramatic changes to the way they treat patients. Other patients will still receive care, but they may be placed in hospital classrooms or conference rooms rather than traditional hospital rooms, or go without some medical equipment.

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