School Closures in Spring Linked to Drastic Decrease in COVID-19 Cases and Deaths

July 30, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified July 31, 2020

When state officials were deciding whether to close their schools back in March, the evidence they had to work with was thin. They knew kids easily catch and spread influenza — and that school holidays and closures have helped slow its spread. But they weren’t sure if the same was true for COVID-19. A new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that closing all of a state’s schools was associated with a drastic decrease in both COVID-19 cases and deaths.

In this US population–based time series analysis conducted between March 9, 2020, and May 7, 2020, school closure was associated with a significant decline in both incidence of COVID-19 (adjusted relative change per week, −62%) and mortality (adjusted relative change per week, −58%).

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