Schools aren’t spreading coronavirus

Joanne Jacobs:

Reopening schools isn’t spreading coronavirus, say public health experts. Early evidence “suggests that opening schools may not be as risky as many have feared,” report Laura Meckler and Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post. While students and teachers have become sick with coronavirus, there’s “little evidence that the virus is spreading inside buildings.”

Sweden, which didn’t close schools, reported no higher rate of infection among  schoolchildren than in Finland, where schools did close in spring. Photo: Lena Granefelt

The new National COVID-19 School Response Data Dashboard released its first data showing low levels of infection among students and teachers. Emily Oster, a Brown economics professor who helped create the dashboard, said school coronavirus rates are “much lower” than those in the surrounding community.

The Network for Public Education has been tracking 37 school districts in Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania. It’s found 23 confirmed cases of coronavirus at 20 schools, with “no indication the virus was spread in schools,” report Meckler and Strauss. So far, “outbreaks have not occurred, even when someone tests positive for covid-19,” said Carol Burris, the executive director.

“We’re not seeing schools as crucibles for onward transmission,” said Sara Johnson, associate professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.