Here is a headline in The Washington Post, published September 23: Feared coronavirus outbreaks in schools yet to arrive, early data shows. Some excerpts from the article follow.
“Everyone had a fear there would be explosive outbreaks of transmission in the schools. In colleges, there have been. We have to say that, to date, we have not seen those in the younger kids, and that is a really important observation,” said Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
On Wednesday, researchers at Brown University, working with school administrators, released their first set of data from a new National COVID-19 School Response Data Dashboard, created to track coronavirus cases. It found low levels of infection among students and teachers.
Tracking infections over a two-week period beginning August 31, it found that 0.23 percent of students had a confirmed or suspected case of the coronavirus. Among teachers, it was 0.49 percent. Looking only at confirmed cases, the rates were even lower: 0.078 percent for students and 0.15 percent for teachers.
“These numbers will be, for some people, reassuring and suggest that school openings may be less risky than they expected,” said Emily Oster, an economics professor at Brown University who helped create the tracker. She noted that the school coronavirus rates are “much lower” than those in the surrounding community.
Still, she said: “I don’t think that these numbers say all places should open schools with no restrictions or anything that comes close to that. Ultimately, school districts are going to have different attitudes toward risk.”
Coronavirus rates are low across Connecticut. They are even lower in Franklin Academy’s neighborhood of Middlesex County and East Haddam. All of our teachers and students arrived back to school with proof of negative COVID-19 tests. We have layers of protection in place across campus, and PhysicianOne will test all of us this coming Thursday, October 1. I am cautiously optimistic that we can live and learn together while remaining healthy. However, we must follow proven safety protocols. I will keep you posted on how we are doing.