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Why masks worked for Phoenix classroom in stopping COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 7:02 AM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 10:02:32-04

PHOENIX — They didn't have to wear a mask at school but they wanted to and now a third grade class at Simis Elementary School is getting credit for stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Heather Horrocks is a working mom from north-central Phoenix.

Her daughter is in the classroom choosing to mask up together this year.

She tells ABC15 Mornings anchor Kaley O'Kelley, "I think there is a deep need to want to protect each other and their teacher."

So when a classmate who was also wearing a mask unknowingly showed up at school with COVID-19, their collective classroom choice to mask up stopped an outbreak.

Horrocks says, "A lot of kids are asymtomatic but guess what? The kid still wore a mask and prevented all of these other kids from getting sick."

Because of recent COVID-19 guidance updates from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, the child who tested positive for coronavirus had to quarantine.

The other students did not.

O'Kelley talked with the Superintendent of Madison School District, Dr. Kenneth Baca who says, "I think as we are having positive cases and needing to quarantine, families are also becoming aware that if the person who tested positive is consistently and correctly wearing a mask, any student that's around him or her that is consistently and correctly wearing a mask, will not have to quarantine, except the student who tested positive."

Which is exactly what happened in this classroom.

Proof, Heather Horrocks says, that wearing a mask at school can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep parents going strong at work.