Shut and re-open: the role of schools in the spread of COVID-19 in Europe
AuthorsStage, Helena B.; orcid: 0000-0001-9938-8452; email: email@example.com
Shingleton, Joseph; orcid: 0000-0002-1628-3231; email: Joseph.Shingleton@phe.gov.uk
Ghosh, Sanmitra; orcid: 0000-0002-4879-7587
Scarabel, Francesca; orcid: 0000-0003-0250-4555
Pellis, Lorenzo; orcid: 0000-0002-3436-6487
Finnie, Thomas; orcid: 0000-0001-5962-4211
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractWe investigate the effect of school closure and subsequent reopening on the transmission of COVID-19, by considering Denmark, Norway, Sweden and German states as case studies. By comparing the growth rates in daily hospitalizations or confirmed cases under different interventions, we provide evidence that school closures contribute to a reduction in the growth rate approximately 7 days after implementation. Limited school attendance, such as older students sitting exams or the partial return of younger year groups, does not appear to significantly affect community transmission. In countries where community transmission is generally low, such as Denmark or Norway, a large-scale reopening of schools while controlling or suppressing the epidemic appears feasible. However, school reopening can contribute to statistically significant increases in the growth rate in countries like Germany, where community transmission is relatively high. In all regions, a combination of low classroom occupancy and robust test-and-trace measures were in place. Our findings underscore the need for a cautious evaluation of reopening strategies. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Modelling that shaped the early COVID-19 pandemic response in the UK’.
CitationPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, volume 376, issue 1829, page 20200277
PublisherThe Royal Society
DescriptionFrom The Royal Society via Jisc Publications Router
History: accepted 2020-12-02, pub-electronic 2021-05-31, pub-print 2021-07-19
Article version: VoR
Publication status: Published
Funder: Wellcome Trust; Id: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100004440; Grant(s): 202562/Z/16/Z
Funder: Royal Society; Id: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000288; Grant(s): 202562/Z/16/Z
Funder: Department for Health and Social Care
Funder: Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Id: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000024; Grant(s): 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid research
Funder: Medical Research Council; Id: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000265; Grant(s): MC UU 00002/11
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