Reopening Florida schools followed by uptick in COVID-19 infections, study finds

school
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

Reopening Florida elementary and high schools in September was followed by increased COVID-19 infections, according to data analyzed by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Harvard Medical School and Tel Aviv University researchers.

The findings were just published in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Florida is one of the few states that provides incidence of infections by exact age and county.

Comparing schools that reopened with those that remained closured, the researchers discovered infections had risen nearly 30 percent in high school children ages 14-17. The increase was lower—around 20 percent—in infection rates among the elementary children ages 6-13.

Study lead author Oren Miron, a Ph.D. student in the BGU Department of Health Systems Management tracked data from 10 days prior to 20 days after reopening. He is a student of Prof. Davidovitch who heads the department and is a member of the team of experts advising the Israeli government on its COVID-19 policy.

"Our analysis has implications for countries trying to determine whether to keep physical schools open as they battle rising infection rates," Miron says. "Vaccines will not be given to children initially, so managing rates through temporary remote learning is of paramount importance."

"The plays a critical role in children's cognitive and ," says Prof. Davidovitch. "Therefore, the required resources should be invested in the system during the difficult times in which we find ourselves."


Explore further

Follow the latest news on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

More information: Oren Miron et al, COVID-19 infections following physical school reopening, Archives of Disease in Childhood (2020). DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2020-321018
Journal information: Archives of Disease in Childhood

Citation: Reopening Florida schools followed by uptick in COVID-19 infections, study finds (2021, January 5) retrieved 19 January 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-01-reopening-florida-schools-uptick-covid-.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
3 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments