News Bite

State’s Data Show Masks In Schools Don’t Work, Tells Kids To Wear Them Anyway

Age 5-18 COVID transmission rates almost the same regardless of school mask rules

Masks do not appear to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among school-aged children, according to new data released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The state health department says students should still wear a mask regardless.

Transmission rates among school-age children are, in the words of the report, “washed out” or “have become more similar.” That is, transmission rates were nearly the same, regardless of whether schools in a given community imposed mask mandates. The most recent data even shows that communities where schools had few or no mask rules experienced lower transmission rates among school-age children.

The state nevertheless concludes, “It remains important to mask up in indoor settings (schools and otherwise) to prevent transmission.”

The similar school transmission rate pattern appeared in November, according to the state health department. It had stopped reporting these statistics for several weeks, so it was unknown if masks in schools had been ineffective before the current report. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy sent a Freedom of Information Act to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services requesting the school transmission rate information that was no longer being published.

The state health department says the fact that there are similar rates of transmission, regardless of masking requirements, is most likely due to community transmission outside of school. Even though the data suggests that masks do not stop transmission in schools, the department still presses officials to require them.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.