Links, Studies, & Articles

COVID Risks for Children

JAMA – COVID-19 as the leading cause of death in the United States

  • Age < 14 – Risk of dying from COVID 1 in a million
  • Age 15-24 – Risk of dying from COVID 1 in 100,000
  • To put in context, school aged kids are 10x more likely to die from suicide than COVID-19

COVID Risks for Teachers

Transmission in Schools

COVID-19 Outbreaks Aren’t Driven by In-Person Class – Bloomberg.

The return to in-person class hasn’t led to a rash of community outbreaks in study of 2.87 million cases of people under age 24
COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in transmission – first update (December 23, 2020)

To what extent does in-person schooling contribute to the spread of COVID-19?

CDC-Factors Associated with Positive SARS-CoV-2 Test Results in Outpatient Health Facilities and Emergency Departments Among Children and Adolescents Aged <18 Years — Mississippi, September–November 2020
“Children are more likely to be infected by a family member who doesn’t take the proper safety measures, than at school.”

Re-opening of Schools and Guidance

American Academy of Pediatrics Updated School Safety Guidance

CDC: Indicators for Dynamic School Decision Making

Other Costs of School Closures

A Quiet and ‘Unsettling’ Pandemic Toll; Students Who’ve Fallen Off The Grid
“An estimated 3 million students may have dropped out of school learning since March.”

Schools Face A Massive Challenge To Make Up For Learning Lost During The Pandemic

JAMA: Estimation of US Children’s Educational Attainment and Years of Life Lost Associated With Primary School Closures During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

COVID-19 and learning loss – disparities grow and students need help
“The pandemic has set back learning for all students, but especially for students of color.”

The Social Safety Net in the Wake of COVID-19
Food insecurity rates have increased almost 3x over pre-COVID rates.

Why Partisan Politics Keep 14 Million Hungry Children From Getting the Food They Need
“Before the pandemic, low-income children got half their calories from school meals.”

Mental Health, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life of US Adolescent Athletes During COVID-19-Related School Closures and Sport Cancellations: A Study of 13 000 Athletes
“The total Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory score was lowest (worst) for athletes from counties with the highest poverty levels”

Quarantining and Contact Tracing

WSJ: Schools Rethink Covid Rules. We’re Over-quarantining Kids Like Crazy! (December 24, 2020)

Safety Protocols

  • World Health Organization
    • Use of 1 meter with flexibility based on age and mask wearing
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
    • Suggests 6 feet if possible, but flexibility to 3 feet
    • Schools should weigh the benefits of strict adherence to a 6-feet spacing rule between students with the potential downside if remote learning is the only alternative.
  • Harvard Risk Reduction Strategies (page 28)
    • This section was updated to indicate that while six feet of distancing is a good goal and should remain for adult to adult interactions, it should not be used as a hard cutoff and that three feet of distancing between children is acceptable for normal classroom activities.
    • The updated guidance from 12/18 of the larger “Harvard” group indicates that 3 feet is sufficient for children, that no level of community spread should “require” 6 feet of distancing for grades K-8, and that grades 9-12 should only revert to strict 6 foot distancing at 100 cases per day per 100,000 of population
  • Mayo Study
      • Researchers indicated that 6 feet was beneficial when subjects were unmasked, but with universal masking, 3 feet distance demonstrated similar exposure to the 6-foot scenario with no masks

Still Disinfecting Surfaces?  It Might Not Be Worth It
“all the evidence points toward breathing in the virus from the air as being the most important route of transmission.”


Surgical masks as source of bacterial contamination during operative procedures

Interviews and Articles:

Interview with University of Wisconsin-Madison Epidemiologist Malia Jones on in-person schools

Fixing Virtual Failure by Rebecca Kleffisch
“The Chicago teachers’ union declared, ‘The push to reopen schools is rooted in sexism, racism and misogyny,’ despite dozens of studies showing the devastating effects of remote learning specifically on minority groups and women.”

Biden Vows to Reopen Schools After 1st 100 Days on Job
“It should be a national priority to get our kids back into school and keep them in school,”

Other Links:

Executive Order Expanding Educational Opportunity Through School Choice

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