In-person schools safer in areas where COVID hospitalization is low, study finds

New research has shown no evidence that the reopening of in-person schools in areas where COVID-19 hospitalizations were low increased hospitalizations after schools reopened in the summer.

The study showed that reopening in-person schools did not result in an increase in the number of hospitalization in communities. This is after analyzing data from counties that showed that 75 percent of counties that had low hospitalization did not report a spike in hospitalizations once the schools reopened in the summer.

The research was conducted by the National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice which is run out of Tulane University and seems to wade into the debate of the safety of in-person school reopening in the US. 

Study confirms the safety of in-person schools

The study also seemed to bolster the claim about in-person learning risks outweighing the risks of community coronavirus spread, emphasizing that as long as the community coronavirus cases are low and schools are following guidelines such as wearing and social distancing, then it was safe to reopen schools.

Doug Harris, study co-author and director of the research center indicated that as long as coronavirus cases remained low and communal hospitalization remained low, then it was safe for schools to reopen. He added that the conclusion of the study had been consistent with other studies that had done that showed that children were not COVID-19 risk.

He continued by adding that it was important to weigh on what students were missing by staying at home during the pandemic, indicating that school closure had caused isolation for children, limited access to essential services and learning loss.

The study, however, found that for counties with higher rates of infection and higher hospitalization, the data was inconclusive on whether in-person schools caused a spike in coronavirus cases, once these schools were reopened.

Engy Ziedan, a co-author of the study, indicated that since data was inconclusive for such a situation, it would be too risky to open schools in counties that very high hospitalization rates.