Friday, September 25, 2020
"Everyone had a fear there would be explosive outbreaks of transmission in the schools," Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told The Washington Post. "In colleges, there have been. We have to say that, to date, we have not seen those in the younger kids, and that is a really important observation." Researchers at Brown University found extremely low levels of virus transmission over a two-week period in schools that reopened. In many places, the rate of infection in schools was lower than in the rest of the community.
It's still very early, of course, and opening schools could eventually correlate with significant virus spread. But right now, the idea that it's impossible to reopen schools safely until some undetermined, far off point in the future"perhaps when a vaccine is available"is not holding up. College campuses, on the other hand, have seen some fairly significant outbreaks. This makes sense: College students live and socialize with each other to a greater degree than young kids do, and many administrators were either naive or indifferent to the fact that compliance with extreme social distancing demands were bound to be ignored.
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