So how common is transmission of the coronavirus at school?
Or how likely?
The Washington Free Beacon reports a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests such transference is “extremely rare.”
The collaboration between University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Duke University indicated that, of nearly a dozen school districts boasting almost 100,000 students and faculty, there was a very low incidence of kids passing along the virus to adults.
Well, it depends on low you consider zero.
There were no cases found.
In the pre-published paper’s exact words:
We examined 11 school districts with nearly 100,000 students/staff open for 9 weeks of in- person instruction, tracking secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2; within-school infections were extremely rare. Each case was independently adjudicated for community or within-school acquisition by local health departments. … No instances of child-to-adult transmission of SARS-CoV-2 were reported within schools.
As for adult-to-adult or child-to-child, 32 cases were detected.
Additionally, the probe advanced some interesting ideas where quarantine is concerned.
From the Free Beacon:
The study also slammed school policies that ask individuals to self-quarantine if they come within six feet of a person infected with coronavirus for more than 15 minutes, even if both individuals wore masks. The study calls the policy “counter-productive,” as transmission of the coronavirus when properly wearing a mask is “uncommon” in school settings. Researchers also said the policy sends a mixed message to the public on the benefit of face coverings.
What was the general takeaway?
Per the official article, it was this:
[S]chools can stay open safely in communities with widespread community transmission.
As you know, a lot’s been passionately posed as to whether and when the country’s schools can reopen.
In the news, we’ve seen a gamut-running mix of information accompanied by a variety of assertions.
One study of nearly 10 million people in Wuhan, China returned news that no asymptomatic spread occurred.
Additionally, the impact of lockdowns has been a tense topic of debate:
It is media malpractice that the contrast of California & Florida is not the lead story of every major media outlet in the country right now
One of the most locked down places on earth has MORE THAN DOUBLE the case rate of one of the least locked down & there is complete silence pic.twitter.com/Bav9udp03y
— IM (@ianmSC) December 21, 2020
Meanwhile, Los Angeles County has indicated all students will be required to take the COVID-19 vaccine — once available — in order to attend in-person instruction.
And some in education have claimed not even vaccines will be sufficient to justify on-campus classes.
In fact, some have even cried racism:
In a now deleted tweet, Chicago teacher’s union claimed the push to reopen schools is rooted in sexism, racism, and misogyny…
How, exactly? If anything, I think these accusations would make more sense for those pushing to keep schools closed. pic.twitter.com/SpyYKqomys
— Lisa Britton (@LisaBritton) December 7, 2020
As noted by the Beacon, healthwise, a staunch academic anti-reopen position seems in conflict with the AAP’s report:
[The study] contradicts claims by teachers’ unions that vaccines won’t be enough to return to in-person learning. The costs of remote learning, meanwhile, have been high: A study of 4.4 million students found that minority and low-income children are disproportionately harmed by school closures.
Other studies have likewise indicated that schools are not driving COVID-19 infections. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during an ABC interview that the default position should be “to keep the children in school or to get them back to school.”
There’s doubtlessly much more to be studied. And surely, no probe any time soon will go uncontested.
In the meantime, many young people are, of course, missing a great deal of social engagement with others their age.
And in perhaps an unexpected turn, amid the stay-at-home style of current education, we have kiddos still getting in trouble as if they’re at school:
Little Boy Gets Suspended for Bringing a BB Gun to School, AKA His Bedroom
— RedState (@RedState) December 11, 2020
We’re living in very strange times.
Hopefully, with research and a proper handling of This Present Virus, things will start to get a little less strange.
For Pete’s sake — they just have to.