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Ross: How much will COVID actually spread through schools?

Tyden Brownlee, 5, picks up a free school lunch at Olympic Hills Elementary School on March 18, 2020 in Seattle, following the school closures due to COVID-19. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Some teachers are really scared about returning to schools. One middle school teacher in Fort Worth, Texas, said she loves her job, but is still terrified at the prospect of a return to in-person learning.

“I’m very concerned about my health, about my life – and that’s why my husband and I decided to write out our wills,” she said.

I don’t blame her. We all know how quickly flu can race through a school, and so we figure COVID would do it too … except there are now studies showing it might not.

The July issue of Pediatrics –a peer reviewed medical journal – cites research from China, France, Switzerland, and Australia showing that infected children do not seem to spread the disease to each other, or to their teachers.

The biggest case study was from New South Wales, where nine infected students and nine infected staff exposed a total of 735 students and 128 staff. Only two of the exposed children got sick, and none of the adults.

And the editors conclude: “This data all suggests that children are not significant drivers of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

It goes on to say that, “closing school may not be necessary, especially for elementary age children.”

I mention this because I haven’t seen this research widely quoted.

And being that a lot of people seem to be basing their virus response on who they plan to vote for, I thought, hey, maybe we should take 60 seconds to hear what actual pediatricians think.

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