Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 101
Filter
1.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(2): e2147827, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1694845

ABSTRACT

Importance: With recent surges in COVID-19 incidence and vaccine authorization for children aged 5 to 11 years, elementary schools face decisions about requirements for masking and other mitigation measures. These decisions require explicit determination of community objectives (eg, acceptable risk level for in-school SARS-CoV-2 transmission) and quantitative estimates of the consequences of changing mitigation measures. Objective: To estimate the association between adding or removing in-school mitigation measures (eg, masks) and COVID-19 outcomes within an elementary school community at varying student vaccination and local incidence rates. Design, Setting, and Participants: This decision analytic model used an agent-based model to simulate SARS-CoV-2 transmission within a school community, with a simulated population of students, teachers and staff, and their household members (ie, immediate school community). Transmission was evaluated for a range of observed local COVID-19 incidence (0-50 cases per 100 000 residents per day, assuming 33% of all infections detected). The population used in the model reflected the mean size of a US elementary school, including 638 students and 60 educators and staff members in 6 grades with 5 classes per grade. Exposures: Variant infectiousness (representing wild-type virus, Alpha variant, and Delta variant), mitigation effectiveness (0%-100% reduction in the in-school secondary attack rate, representing increasingly intensive combinations of mitigations including masking and ventilation), and student vaccination levels were varied. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcomes were (1) probability of at least 1 in-school transmission per month and (2) mean increase in total infections per month among the immediate school community associated with a reduction in mitigation; multiple decision thresholds were estimated for objectives associated with each outcome. Sensitivity analyses on adult vaccination uptake, vaccination effectiveness, and testing approaches (for selected scenarios) were conducted. Results: With student vaccination coverage of 70% or less and moderate assumptions about mitigation effectiveness (eg, masking), mitigation could only be reduced when local case incidence was 14 or fewer cases per 100 000 residents per day to keep the mean additional cases associated with reducing mitigation to 5 or fewer cases per month. To keep the probability of any in-school transmission to less than 50% per month, the local case incidence would have to be 4 or fewer cases per 100 000 residents per day. Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, in-school mitigation measures (eg, masks) and student vaccinations were associated with substantial reductions in transmissions and infections, but the level of reduction varied across local incidence. These findings underscore the potential role for responsive plans that deploy mitigation strategies based on local COVID-19 incidence, vaccine uptake, and explicit consideration of community objectives.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Students/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Models, Statistical , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools/organization & administration
2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 322, 2022 01 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625443

ABSTRACT

There are contrasting results concerning the effect of reactive school closure on SARS-CoV-2 transmission. To shed light on this controversy, we developed a data-driven computational model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We found that by reactively closing classes based on syndromic surveillance, SARS-CoV-2 infections are reduced by no more than 17.3% (95%CI: 8.0-26.8%), due to the low probability of timely identification of infections in the young population. We thus investigated an alternative triggering mechanism based on repeated screening of students using antigen tests. Depending on the contribution of schools to transmission, this strategy can greatly reduce COVID-19 burden even when school contribution to transmission and immunity in the population is low. Moving forward, the adoption of antigen-based screenings in schools could be instrumental to limit COVID-19 burden while vaccines continue to be rolled out.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Models, Statistical , Quarantine/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Schools/organization & administration , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Computer Simulation , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Mass Screening/trends , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Schools/legislation & jurisprudence , Students/legislation & jurisprudence
3.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev ; 12: CD013812, 2020 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1557400

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the impact of COVID-19, national and subnational governments implemented a variety of measures in order to control the spread of the virus and the associated disease. While these measures were imposed with the intention of controlling the pandemic, they were also associated with severe psychosocial, societal, and economic implications on a societal level. One setting affected heavily by these measures is the school setting. By mid-April 2020, 192 countries had closed schools, affecting more than 90% of the world's student population. In consideration of the adverse consequences of school closures, many countries around the world reopened their schools in the months after the initial closures. To safely reopen schools and keep them open, governments implemented a broad range of measures. The evidence with regards to these measures, however, is heterogeneous, with a multitude of study designs, populations, settings, interventions and outcomes being assessed. To make sense of this heterogeneity, we conducted a rapid scoping review (8 October to 5 November 2020). This rapid scoping review is intended to serve as a precursor to a systematic review of effectiveness, which will inform guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). This review is reported in line with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) checklist and was registered with the Open Science Framework. OBJECTIVES: To identify and comprehensively map the evidence assessing the impacts of measures implemented in the school setting to reopen schools, or keep schools open, or both, during the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic, with particular focus on the types of measures implemented in different school settings, the outcomes used to measure their impacts and the study types used to assess these. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, MEDLINE, Embase, the CDC COVID-19 Research Articles Downloadable Database for preprints, and the WHO COVID-19 Global literature on coronavirus disease on 8 October 2020. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included studies that assessed the impact of measures implemented in the school setting. Eligible populations were populations at risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2, or developing COVID-19 disease, or both, and included people both directly and indirectly impacted by interventions, including students, teachers, other school staff, and contacts of these groups, as well as the broader community. We considered all types of empirical studies, which quantitatively assessed impact including epidemiological studies, modelling studies, mixed-methods studies, and diagnostic studies that assessed the impact of relevant interventions beyond diagnostic test accuracy. Broad outcome categories of interest included infectious disease transmission-related outcomes, other harmful or beneficial health-related outcomes, and societal, economic, and ecological implications. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We extracted data from included studies in a standardized manner, and mapped them to categories within our a priori logic model where possible. Where not possible, we inductively developed new categories. In line with standard expectations for scoping reviews, the review provides an overview of the existing evidence regardless of methodological quality or risk of bias, and was not designed to synthesize effectiveness data, assess risk of bias, or characterize strength of evidence (GRADE). MAIN RESULTS: We included 42 studies that assessed measures implemented in the school setting. The majority of studies used mathematical modelling designs (n = 31), while nine studies used observational designs, and two studies used experimental or quasi-experimental designs. Studies conducted in real-world contexts or using real data focused on the WHO European region (EUR; n = 20), the WHO region of the Americas (AMR; n = 13), the West Pacific region (WPR; n = 6), and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR; n = 1). One study conducted a global assessment and one did not report on data from, or that were applicable to, a specific country. Three broad intervention categories emerged from the included studies: organizational measures to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (n = 36), structural/environmental measures to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (n = 11), and surveillance and response measures to detect SARS-CoV-2 infections (n = 19). Most studies assessed SARS-CoV-2 transmission-related outcomes (n = 29), while others assessed healthcare utilization (n = 8), other health outcomes (n = 3), and societal, economic, and ecological outcomes (n = 5). Studies assessed both harmful and beneficial outcomes across all outcome categories. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: We identified a heterogeneous and complex evidence base of measures implemented in the school setting. This review is an important first step in understanding the available evidence and will inform the development of rapid reviews on this topic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools/organization & administration , Administrative Personnel , Humans , School Teachers , Students
4.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0259546, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546940

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted schooling for children worldwide. Most vulnerable are non-citizen children without access to public education. This study aims to explore challenges faced in achieving education access for children of refugee and asylum-seekers, migrant workers, stateless and undocumented persons in Malaysia during the pandemic. In-depth interviews of 33 stakeholders were conducted from June 2020 to March 2021. Data were thematically analysed. Our findings suggest that lockdowns disproportionately impacted non-citizen households as employment, food and housing insecurity were compounded by xenophobia, exacerbating pre-existing inequities. School closures disrupted school meals and deprived children of social interaction needed for mental wellbeing. Many non-citizen children were unable to participate in online learning due to the scarcity of digital devices, and poor internet connectivity, parental support, and home learning environments. Teachers were forced to adapt to online learning and adopt alternative arrangements to ensure continuity of learning and prevent school dropouts. The lack of government oversight over learning centres meant that measures taken were not uniform. The COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for the design of more inclusive national educational policies, by recognising and supporting informal learning centres, to ensure that no child is left behind.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Education , Emigrants and Immigrants/education , Refugees/education , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Education/methods , Education/organization & administration , Education, Distance , Female , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Malaysia/epidemiology , Male , Qualitative Research , Schools/organization & administration
6.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0248906, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1533405

ABSTRACT

The Internet has changed the way teachers and students access information and build knowledge. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for both teachers and students and a demand for new methodologies of remote learning. In the life sciences, mixing online content with practical activities represents an even greater challenge. In microbiology, the implementation of an active teaching methodology, the #Adopt project, based on the social network Facebook®, represents an excellent option for connecting remote education with classroom activities. In 2020, the version applied in high school, "Adopt a Microorganism", was adapted to meet the demands of emergency remote education owing to the suppression of face-to-face activities caused by the pandemic. In the present study, we assessed how the change in methodology impacted the discourse richness of students from high school integrated with technical education in the Business Administration program of the Federal Institute of São Paulo, Sorocaba Campus. Three questionnaires related to the groups of microorganisms (Archaea, Bacteria, Virus, Fungi, and Protozoan) were applied. The students' responses in the 2019 and 2020 classes were compared concerning content richness and multiplicity of concepts through the application of the Shannon diversity index, an approach that is generally used to assess biodiversity in different environments. The observed results suggest that remote learning provided students with a conceptual basis and richness of content equivalent to that achieved by students subjected to the hybrid teaching model. In conclusion, this study suggests that the #Adopt project methodology increases students' discourse richness in microbiology even without face-to-face traditional classes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Education, Distance/methods , Microbiology/education , Schools/organization & administration , Students/psychology , Teaching/organization & administration , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Learning , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
Nat Med ; 27(12): 2111-2119, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493153

ABSTRACT

Among tool kits to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, school closures are one of the most frequent non-pharmaceutical interventions. However, school closures bring about substantial costs, such as learning loss. To date, studies have not reached a consensus about the effectiveness of these policies at mitigating community transmission, partly because they lack rigorous causal inference. Here we assess the causal effect of school closures in Japan on reducing the spread of COVID-19 in spring 2020. By matching each municipality with open schools to a municipality with closed schools that is the most similar in terms of potential confounders, we can estimate how many cases the municipality with open schools would have had if it had closed its schools. We do not find any evidence that school closures in Japan reduced the spread of COVID-19. Our null results suggest that policies on school closures should be reexamined given the potential negative consequences for children and parents.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Schools/organization & administration , Adolescent , COVID-19/transmission , Child , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Policy , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Nat Med ; 27(12): 2120-2126, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493152

ABSTRACT

The role that traditional and hybrid in-person schooling modes contribute to the community incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections relative to fully remote schooling is unknown. We conducted an event study using a retrospective nationwide cohort evaluating the effect of school mode on SARS-CoV-2 cases during the 12 weeks after school opening (July-September 2020, before the Delta variant was predominant), stratified by US Census region. After controlling for case rate trends before school start, state-level mitigation measures and community activity level, SARS-CoV-2 incidence rates were not statistically different in counties with in-person learning versus remote school modes in most regions of the United States. In the South, there was a significant and sustained increase in cases per week among counties that opened in a hybrid or traditional mode versus remote, with weekly effects ranging from 9.8 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.7-16.1) to 21.3 (95% CI = 9.9-32.7) additional cases per 100,000 persons, driven by increasing cases among 0-9 year olds and adults. Schools can reopen for in-person learning without substantially increasing community case rates of SARS-CoV-2; however, the impacts are variable. Additional studies are needed to elucidate the underlying reasons for the observed regional differences more fully.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Schools/organization & administration , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/transmission , Child , Child, Preschool , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Teaching , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
11.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(39): 1374-1376, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444555

ABSTRACT

Beginning in January 2021, the U.S. government prioritized ensuring continuity of learning for all students during the COVID-19 pandemic (1). To estimate the extent of COVID-19-associated school disruptions, CDC and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory used a Hidden Markov Model (HMM) (2) statistical approach to estimate the most likely actual learning modality based on patterns observed in past data, accounting for conflicting or missing information and systematic Internet searches (3) for COVID-19-related school closures. This information was used to assess how many U.S. schools were open, and in which learning modalities, during August 1-September 17, 2021. Learning modalities included 1) full in-person learning, 2) a hybrid of in-person and remote learning, and 3) full remote learning.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Education/methods , Education/statistics & numerical data , Schools/organization & administration , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Education, Distance/statistics & numerical data , Humans , United States/epidemiology
12.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(39): 1372-1373, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444554

ABSTRACT

CDC recommends universal indoor masking by students, staff members, faculty, and visitors in kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) schools, regardless of vaccination status, to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (1). Schools in Maricopa and Pima Counties, which account for >75% of Arizona's population (2), resumed in-person learning for the 2021-22 academic year during late July through early August 2021. In mid-July, county-wide 7-day case rates were 161 and 105 per 100,000 persons in Maricopa and Pima Counties, respectively, and 47.6% of Maricopa County residents and 59.2% of Pima County residents had received at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. School districts in both counties implemented variable mask policies at the start of the 2021-22 academic year (Table). The association between school mask policies and school-associated COVID-19 outbreaks in K-12 public noncharter schools open for in-person learning in Maricopa and Pima Counties during July 15-August 31, 2021, was evaluated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Organizational Policy , Schools/organization & administration , Adolescent , Arizona/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Humans
14.
Pediatr Clin North Am ; 68(5): 1119-1131, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428326

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused severe economic and health impacts in the United States, and the impact is disproportionately more in socially disadvantages areas. The available data, albeit limited in children, suggest that the initial concerns of the potential of serious impact of COVID-19 illness in children with asthma are unproven so far. The reduction in asthma morbidities is due to improved adherence, COVID-19 control measures, school closures, and decreased exposure to allergens and viral infections in children. During the pandemic, asthma guidelines were updated to guide physicians in asthma care. In the face of unprecedented time, it is important to be vigilant, adhere to treatment guidelines, and implement preventive measures to eradicate the virus and improve outcomes in children with asthma.


Subject(s)
Asthma/enzymology , Asthma/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Patient Education as Topic/methods , School Health Services/organization & administration , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Humans , Medication Adherence , Schools/organization & administration , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , United States
15.
Int J Public Health ; 66: 1604219, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430753

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Children's mental health and wellbeing declined during the first COVID-19 lockdown (Spring 2020), particularly among those from disadvantaged settings. We compared mental health and wellbeing of school-aged children observed pre-pandemic in 2018 and after the first lockdown was lifted and schools reopened in Fall 2020. Methods: In 2018, we surveyed 476 grade 4-6 students (9-12 years old) from 11 schools in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in Northern Canada that participate in a school-based health promotion program targeting healthy lifestyle behaviours and mental wellbeing. In November-December 2020, we surveyed 467 grade 4-6 students in the same schools. The 12 questions in the mental health and wellbeing domain were grouped based on correlation and examined using multivariable logistic regression. Results: There were no notable changes pre-pandemic vs. post-lockdown in responses to each of the 12 questions or any of the sub-groupings. Conclusion: Supporting schools to implement health promotion programs may help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on children's mental health and wellbeing. The findings align with recent calls for schools to remain open as long as possible during the pandemic response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child Health , Communicable Disease Control , Mental Health , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Canada/epidemiology , Child , Child Health/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Poverty Areas , Schools/organization & administration , Students/psychology , Students/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires
16.
Int J Public Health ; 66: 1604076, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394847

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Benefits of school attendance have been debated against SARS-CoV-2 contagion risks. This study examined the trends of contagion before and after schools reopened across 26 countries in the European Union. Methods: We compared the average values of estimated R t before and after school reopening, identifying any significant increase with a one-sample t-test. A meta-analysis and meta-regression analysis were performed to calculate the overall increase in R t for countries in the EU and to search for relationships between R t before schools reopened and the average increase in R t afterward. Results: The mean reproduction number increased in 16 out of 26 countries. The maximum increase in R t was reached after a mean 28 days. We found a negative relationship between the R t before school reopening and its increasing after that event. By 45 days after the first day of school reopening, the overall average increase in R t for the European Union was 23%. Conclusion: We observed a significant increase in the mean reproduction number in most European countries, a public health issue that needs strategies to contain the spread of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Schools , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Schools/organization & administration
17.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(9): e2124092, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1391524

ABSTRACT

Importance: In-person schooling has been disrupted for most school-aged youth during the COVID-19 pandemic, with low-income, Black, and Hispanic populations most likely to receive fully remote instruction. Disruptions to in-person schooling may have negatively and inequitably affected children's mental health. Objective: To estimate the association between school closures and child mental health outcomes and how it varies across sociodemographic factors. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional population-based survey study included a nationally representative sample of US adults aged 18 to 64 years with at least 1 child in the household. The survey was administered between December 2 and December 21, 2020, via web and telephone in English and Spanish. Participants were recruited from the NORC AmeriSpeak panel, an address-based panel with known probability sampling and coverage of 97% of US households. Exposures: Schooling modality (in person, fully remote, or hybrid), household income, age. Main Outcomes and Measures: Child mental health difficulties were measured with the parent-report version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, with small, medium, and large effect sizes defined as 1.3-, 3.3-, and 5.2-point differences, respectively. Results: A total of 2324 adults completed the survey. Overall, 1671 respondents (71.9%) were women, 244 (10.5%) were Black, 372 (16.0%) were Hispanic, and 421 (18.1%) had a high school education or less. Children attending school in-person had higher household incomes (mean difference, $9719; 95% CI, $4327 to $15 111; P < .001) and were more likely to be White compared with those attending remotely (366 of 556 [65.8%] vs 597 of 1340 [44.5%]; P < .001). Older children in remote schooling had more mental health difficulties than those attending in-person schooling (standardized effect size, 0.23 [95% CI, 0.07 to 0.39] per year older; P = .006), corresponding to small effect sizes in favor of in-person schooling for older children and very small effect sizes favoring remote schooling for younger children. Children from families with higher income benefitted more from attending schools in-person compared with their peers from families with lower income (B = -0.20 [95% CI, -0.10 to -0.30] per $10 000-increase in annual income; P < .001), although this advantage was not apparent for children attending hybrid school (B = -0.05 [95% CI, -0.16 to 0.06] per $10 000-increase in annual income; P = .34), and directionally lower but not significantly different for children attending remote school (B = -0.12 [95% CI, -0.04 to -0.20] per $10 000-increase in annual income; P < .001). Learning pods fully buffered the associations of hybrid schooling (d = -0.25; 95% CI, -0.47 to -0.04) but not remote schooling (d = 0.04; 95% CI, -0.10 to 0.18) with negative mental health outcomes. Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this study suggest that older and Black and Hispanic children as well as those from families with lower income who attend school remotely may experience greater impairment to mental health than their younger, White, and higher-income counterparts. Ensuring that all students have access to additional educational and mental health resources must be an important public health priority, met with appropriate funding and workforce augmentation, during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control/methods , Mental Health , Schools/organization & administration , Students/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Education, Distance , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Parents , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States , Young Adult
18.
Public Health Rep ; 136(6): 663-670, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390406

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted widespread closures of primary and secondary schools. Routine testing of asymptomatic students and staff members, as part of a comprehensive mitigation program, can help schools open safely. "Pooling in a pod" is a public health surveillance strategy whereby testing cohorts (pods) are based on social relationships and physical proximity. Pooled testing provides a single laboratory test result for the entire pod, rather than a separate result for each person in the pod. During the 2020-2021 school year, an independent preschool-grade 12 school in Washington, DC, used pooling in a pod for weekly on-site point-of-care testing of all staff members and students. Staff members and older students self-collected anterior nares samples, and trained staff members collected samples from younger students. Overall, 12 885 samples were tested in 1737 pools for 863 students and 264 staff members from November 30, 2020, through April 30, 2021. The average pool size was 7.4 people. The average time from sample collection to pool test result was 40 minutes. The direct testing cost per person per week was $24.24, including swabs. During the study period, 4 surveillance test pools received positive test results for COVID-19. A post-launch survey found most parents (90.3%), students (93.4%), and staff members (98.8%) were willing to participate in pooled testing with confirmatory tests for pool members who received a positive test result. The proportion of students in remote learning decreased by 62.2% for students in grades 6-12 (P < .001) and by 92.4% for students in preschool to grade 5 after program initiation (P < .001). Pooling in a pod is a feasible, cost-effective surveillance strategy that may facilitate safe, sustainable, in-person schooling during a pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Schools/organization & administration , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Public Health Surveillance/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools/standards , Time Factors , United States/epidemiology
19.
BMC Public Health ; 20(1): 1713, 2020 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388747

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mathematical modeling studies have suggested that pre-emptive school closures alone have little overall impact on SARS-CoV-2 transmission, but reopening schools in the background of community contact reduction presents a unique scenario that has not been fully assessed. METHODS: We adapted a previously published model using contact information from Shanghai to model school reopening under various conditions. We investigated different strategies by combining the contact patterns observed between different age groups during both baseline and "lockdown" periods. We also tested the robustness of our strategy to the assumption of lower susceptibility to infection in children under age 15 years. RESULTS: We find that reopening schools for all children would maintain a post-intervention R0 < 1 up to a baseline R0 of approximately 3.3 provided that daily contacts among children 10-19 years are reduced to 33% of baseline. This finding was robust to various estimates of susceptibility to infection in children relative to adults (up to 50%) and to estimates of various levels of concomitant reopening in the rest of the community (up to 40%). However, full school reopening without any degree of contact reduction in the school setting returned R0 virtually back to baseline, highlighting the importance of mitigation measures. CONCLUSIONS: These results, based on contact structure data from Shanghai, suggest that schools can reopen with proper precautions during conditions of extreme contact reduction and during conditions of reasonable levels of reopening in the rest of the community.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Schools/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Child , China/epidemiology , Contact Tracing , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology
20.
Isr J Health Policy Res ; 10(1): 48, 2021 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365387

ABSTRACT

Among the challenges presented by the SARS-CoV2 pandemic are those related to balancing societal priorities with averting threats to population health. In this exceptional context a group of Israeli physicians and public health scholars (multidisciplinary academic group on children and coronavirus [MACC]) coalesced, examining the role of children in viral transmission and assessing the necessity and consequences of restricted in-class education. Combining critical appraisal and analytical skills with public health experience, MACC advocated for safe and monitored school re-opening, stressing the importance of education as a determinant of health, continuously weighing this stance against evolving COVID-19-risk data. MACC's activities included offering research-based advice to government agencies including Ministries of Health, Finance, and Education. In a setting where government bodies were faced with providing practical solutions to both decreasing disease transmission and maintaining society's vital activities, and various advisors presented decision-makers with disparate views, MACC contributed epidemiological, clinical and health policy expertise to the debate regarding school closure as a pandemic control measure, and adaptations required for safe re-opening. In this paper, we describe the evolution, activities, policy inputs and media profile of MACC, and discuss the role of academics in advocacy and activism in the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis. A general lesson learned is that academics, based on the rigor of their scientific work and their perceived objectivity, can and should be mobilized to pursue and promote policies based on shared societal values as well as empiric data, even when considerable uncertainty exists about the appropriate course of action. Mechanisms should be in place to open channels to multidisciplinary academic groups and bring their input to bear on decision-making.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Interdisciplinary Communication , Pandemics/prevention & control , Schools/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Child , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Physicians/psychology , Public Health
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL