A new study finds teachers and school staff have the same risk of catching COVID-19 on the job as they do when out in the community.

The study by researchers from B-C Children’s Hospital, the University of B-C and Vancouver Coastal Health compared blood samples from just over 15-hundred teachers and staff in the Vancouver School District with a matching set of donors who don’t work in the school system.

Results were identical for both groups — with 2.3 per cent testing positive for antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 — findings that researchers say support the conclusion that COVID-19 is rarely shared within a school setting.

Researchers hope the results will guide decisions about any future school closures while the superintendent of the Vancouver school district says the study will reassure teachers and parents that safety measures already in effect make schools a safe place to learn.

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