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Ertem Z, Schechter-Perkins E, Oster E, van den Berg P, Epshtein I, Chaiyakunapruk N, Wilson F, Perenchevich E, Pettey W, Branch-Elliman W, Nelson R. The Impact of School Opening Model on SARS-CoV-2 Community Incidence and Mortality: A Nationwide Cohort Study. Research square [Preprint]. 2021 Jul 15. Update In: Nat Med. 2021 Oct 27;: PMID: 34707317
The role that in-person schooling contributes to community incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections and deaths remains unknown. We conducted an event study evaluating the effect of in-person school on SARS-CoV-2 cases and deaths per 100,000 persons during the 12-weeks following school opening, stratified by US Census region. There was no impact of in-person school opening and COVID-19 deaths. In most regions, COVID-19 incidence rates were not statistically different in counties with in-person versus remote school modes. However, in the South, there was a significant and sustained increase in cases per week among counties that opened for in-person learning versus remote learning, with weekly effects ranging from 7.8 (95% CI: 1.2-14.5) to 18.9 (95% CI: 7.9-29.9) additional cases per 100,000, driven by increases among 0-9 year olds and adults.