- This past summer, experts cautioned that opening schools back up would cause a massive spike in coronavirus infections.
- With September winding down, we’ve seen conflicting evidence as to the impact schools reopenings have had on coronavirus infections.
- While young children typically don’t experience severe coronavirus symptoms, studies show that children as young as 10 can transmit it to adults.
With the number of coronavirus deaths now above 200,000, experts warn that we might see a huge increase in new infections — and associated deaths — over the next few months. The rationale behind this dire projection can be traced back to the fact that colder weather is on the horizon and flu season is right around the corner. What’s more, with schools now in full swing, experts have been warning that children — who typically do not endure severe coronavirus symptoms — could likely spread the virus to their parents, teachers, and the extended community.
Having said that, a study conducted by USA Today found that the massive spike in new coronavirus infections anticipated by schools re-opening didn’t play out as some anticipated. The study specifically focused on schools in Florida and found that the number of coronavirus infections among kids aged 5 to 17 actually declined from July through September.
“Many of the schools that have been able to successfully open have also been implementing control measures that are an important part of managing spread in these schools,” Dr. Nathaniel Beers told the publication.
In short, the multitude of safety regulations implemented in the wake of the coronavirus — such as mandatory mask-wearing — appears to have prevented children from causing a community spread situation.
One notable data point from the study — which might be a cause for concern — is that the rate of coronavirus decline in children slowed down once schools began reopening.
Meanwhile, the situation is a little bit different in school districts across other parts of the country.
To this end, the AP reports:
After preying heavily on the elderly in the spring, the coronavirus is increasingly infecting American children and teens in a trend authorities say appears fueled by school reopenings and the resumption of sports, playdates and other activities.
Children of all ages now make up 10% of all U.S cases, up from 2% in April, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported Tuesday. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that the incidence of COVID-19 in school-age children began rising in early September as many youngsters returned to their classrooms.
All told, it’s probably a bit too early to determine the full impact school reopenings have had on the coronavirus infection rate. Meanwhile, many people are still hoping for a coronavirus vaccine to emerge before the end of the year. Even if that scenario plays out, administering the vaccine to the population at large could take upwards of 12 months.