Monday, March 1

Covid-19: at school, no rapid spread of the virus, according to an American study

Is the coronavirus actively circulating in schools? An American study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), says no, provided that the barrier gestures are respected. Schools that respect physical distancing, mask wearing and other health precautions have not seen a rapid spread of the coronavirus within them, according to the report.

The researchers, working for the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), reviewed data from studies conducted in schools in three U.S. states, and some European countries.

“While many schools have reopened for face-to-face instruction in parts of the United States, as well as internationally, school-related cases of Covid-19 have been reported, but there are few evidence that schools have contributed significantly to an increase in transmissions “at the local level,” say the authors.

Reassuring evidence

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The researchers find the majority of the existing evidence for the first semester of school “reassuring” as the type of rapid spread that has been frequently observed in cohabitation places, or busy workplaces, “n ‘is not observed in school settings “.

According to them, the data suggests the way forward to maintain or partially or fully return to face-to-face instruction. “All the measures recommended to limit (the risk of contagion) in schools must continue,” they indicate. These include, the universal wearing of the mask, physical distancing, and a hybrid operation between virtual and face-to-face lessons, in order to limit class sizes.

Other measures are also possible such as increasing room ventilation, and increasing testing to quickly identify and isolate asymptomatic infected individuals.

Indoor sports activities to be prohibited

Indoor sporting activities should be prohibited, however, the researchers advise. “There is a lot of hope for a safer environment in schools, and for sports activities in schools during the year 2021-2022”, they enthusiastically, citing the current presence of two vaccines in the United States. United, and the prospect of seeing more available in the coming months.

This analysis is published at a time when the risk of a third confinement in France is relaunching the debate on the relevance of closing schools to curb the number of contaminations. For the moment, the Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer says he wants to keep the schools open as during the confinement in November. At present, “the situation allows school continuity. But we are vigilant,” he assured the JDD, without however excluding a closure of establishments in the event of a worsening of the health situation.


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