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Schools are not super distributors of COVID-19, new data show

Primary and secondary schools do not appear to be super distributors of COVID-19, according to new data, a finding that threatens to turn some pandemic theories on them.

Statistics involving 200,000 students from 47 countries in the last two weeks of September resulted in an overall incidence of coronavirus infection of just .13% among students and .24% for staff, according to Brown University economics professor Emily Oster and her team. from enumerators.

The figures translate into approximately 1.3 infections per school with 1,000 children over the two-week period and 2.2 positive tests for every 1,000 employees over the same period.

“I think it was thought that the moment we brought people together in schools, there would be these huge outbreaks ̵

1; and it didn’t happen,” Oster told The New York Post on Sunday.

She added that it was crucial to weigh the dangers of the virus against the shortcomings of online learning for students, teachers and parents.

“It’s hard to say ‘Why not be safe and do the safest thing’ and go to distance learning, Oster said. “Well, don’t look at the emails I receive.”

She recounted how a woman wrote her Sunday morning and said that her daughter’s best friend had committed suicide and left a note saying, “I can’t do what school is all about.” ”

The dead student was in high school.

“It’s just an anecdote, but I think we forget the human costs on the other side in some cases,” Oster said.

The professor specifically summoned New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is said to treat schools as if they were major coronavirus breeders, without the data supporting him.

“Democratic rulers who like to flaunt their pro-scientific goodwill compared to the Trump anti-science administration don’t seem to be aware of this growing body of evidence,” Auster wrote in The Atlantic on Friday.

“On Monday, for example, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the business was not a ‘mass distributor’, unlike schools, and later announced he would close schools in hotspots.”

She added to The Post, “He said schools are a big risk. … I don’t think he has good data to show that. “

A spokesman for the governor’s office told The Post on Sunday: “We know that mass rallies are the highest for the show.

“Schools have a common environment,” the spokesman said.

He said the governor insists on testing in schools, as more data is needed so far and “not enough is being done in the city” to get adequate statistics.

“We flew blind,” the spokesman said. “And that’s unacceptable.”

As The Post reported on Saturday, the number of COVID-19 cases in urban schools in the city has increased by 67 percent in the last week and involved 98 students and 207 teachers. The percentage of positive tests from one week to the next is not immediately clear.

Oster – whose own children aged 5 and 9 are returning full-time to the classroom at his private school in Rhode Island – said more data definitely needs to be collected before final conclusions can be drawn.

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“I think our big export is that it’s invaluable to see the numbers and with what [people] are convenient, ”she said, noting that her group is turning to states and national and local public and private school organizations for more information.

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