While it’s not always reliable to look at the inverse of scientific data, there are times when considering their deeper meaning can be illuminating. Take data just published by JAMA Network, illustrating that vacating school buildings across the U.S. in response to the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a significant decline in not just incidence of COVID-19 (which fell by 62% per week over the study period) but also mortality (which dropped 58% per week)—all of which might come as a surprise to that portion of the population that believes children pay little part in spreading the virus or impacting the death toll. The effect is underscored by the fact that school districts that went to remote learning the earliest showed the largest relative reduction in both incidence and mortality. The point is that while some school districts have opted to start school on a remote-only basis, others are employing a hybrid model (in which children attend school in-person part time and learn remotely the rest of the time) or have decided to open completely (albeit with safety precautions). The question remains as to whether more in-person contact will cause incidence and mortality to swell, but it’s now confirmed that lowering that contact also lowered the risk of consequences.
Get Ready—Schools Are Open, and the Data Indicate that Could Cause COVID-19 to Spike