04 Sep Do School Closures Reduce COVID-19 Cases and Deaths?
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Katherine A. S. Auger, MD, MSc
Division of Hospital Medicine
James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence,
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Pediatric Research in Inpatient Settings Network
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: All states closed schools in the spring of 2020 to try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Our study demonstrated a large, significant association between school closure and fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths even when accounting for other state policies.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Closing schools in the spring of 2020 was associated with fewer COVID-19 deaths and cases. When schools closed in the spring, there were no recommendations for masks or increased spacing in schools. States who closed early, when the number of cases in the community was low, had fewer subsequent COVID-19 cases and deaths.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Decision makers should consider the number of cases in the community in deciding when to reopen schools in the fall of 2020. Schools should implement social distancing measures and universal masking when reopening. If they do not, there is the potential for significant increase in COVID-19 in the community.
Auger KA, Shah SS, Richardson T, et al. Association Between Statewide School Closure and COVID-19 Incidence and Mortality in the US. JAMA. 2020;324(9):859–870. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.14348
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