As U.S. schools struggled to safely reopen over the past year, a fierce debate erupted over why bars and restaurants, known vectors for the spread of COVID-19, were allowed to operate even as in-person learning was at risk. Now, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows exactly how reckless behavior at bars by adults can imperil education for kids. An unnamed bar in rural Illinois opened in early February and was soon linked to 46 total COVID-19 cases, at least one hospitalization, and the temporary closure of a school that affected some 650 students. Attendees said social distancing and mask use were weak despite the venue asking people to take safety measures.
Also hit by the outbreak, according to the report: a long-term care facility, where at least one employee attended the bar opening, and a significant portion of staff had declined vaccination.