This page provides information and links that help to highlight and explain our members' concerns about COVID risks relating to schools and children specifically. Though it's not the focus of this page, the context shouldn't be forgotten: COVID-19 kills some people who are infected, and leaves some others suffering debilitating symptoms as "long haul" patients. Concerns are also heightened by what we don't yet know about variants of the original COVID-19 strain. As noted in the "About This Site" page, our goal is to respond to an established "schools are safe" refrain in public discussion and reporting, providing reliable sources that complicate that position. If you want to review the official guidance and reports, which generally link to research supporting the view that schools should open, we have a page for those links as well.
3/4/21 In-person schooling and community spread of COVID-19 (Goldhaber, et. al.) Regional data from Michigan and Washington... show that in-person teaching correlates with higher case growth in the community only when the pre-existing Covid-19 case rates are moderate or high.
A key finding of this study is that it appears safe to reopen schools in counties where there are fewer than 36 to 44 new COVID-19 county hospitalizations per 100,000 people per week. Authors have created this searchable spreadsheet. Data from this source indicates Santa Clara County's infection rate was above the safe threshold for most of December and January.
Cluster associated with a nursery school suggests young children can transmit virus to peers, adults
12/30/20 Information for Pediatric Healthcare Providers (CDC) "Recent evidence suggests that compared to adults, children likely have similar viral loads in their nasopharynx, similar secondary infections rates, and can spread the virus to others."
12/8/20 The role of schools and school-aged children in SARS-CoV-2 transmission(Flasche, Edmunds; The Lancet) - “Since September, when [UK] schools, universities, and colleges have been fully open, the highest rates of infection have been observed in young adults (about 18–25 years old). However, the next highest prevalence has been observed in secondary school children (11–18 years old), suggesting that they are likely to be an important source of infection to peers and others rather than a sink. Yet, primary school children (5–11 years old) have been found to have an infection prevalence comparable to that of working-aged adults.” – “UK Office for National Statistics's COVID-19 infection survey found that secondary school-aged children are about eight times more likely to introduce an infection to a household than adults.”
Nov. 2020 COVID-19 infections following physical school reopening (Miron, et. al.) - In Florida, "analysis shows that physical reopening of schools was followed by increased COVID-19 incidence at school ages, especially high schools. Counties with remote reopening did not have increased incidence..."