New York Metropolis College Reopening Did Not Drive Virus Unfold, Research Says

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New York Metropolis’s public faculties have seen remarkably low virus transmission in contrast with the citywide fee of optimistic check ends in the months for the reason that nation’s largest faculty system reopened for hundreds of scholars, based on a serious new peer-reviewed research within the medical journal Pediatrics.

Of over 200,000 individuals who have been examined in metropolis faculty buildings from October to December, solely .4 p.c of exams got here again optimistic for the coronavirus. That was throughout a interval when virus instances have been spiking locally.

And even when instances have been detected, comparatively few shut contacts within the faculty ended up testing optimistic for the virus throughout the identical interval: .5 p.c of school-based contacts who quarantined contracted the virus.

“In-person studying in New York Metropolis public faculties was not related to elevated prevalence or incidence total of Covid-19 an infection in contrast with the final group,” the research’s authors wrote. The research was led by Dr. Jay Varma, Mayor Invoice de Blasio’s senior well being adviser.

Nonetheless, school-based testing has been random and subsequently targeted extra on figuring out asymptomatic instances, whereas many New Yorkers who obtained examined outdoors faculties had signs or had been uncovered to the virus.

Mr. de Blasio reopened school rooms final September, months earlier than many different massive districts, notably within the Northeast and on the West Coast. The town closed faculties in November as virus instances surged, and has progressively reopened all through the winter and spring. Nonetheless, the overwhelming majority of metropolis faculty college students, roughly 700,000 kids, have elected to be taught from house for the remainder of the college 12 months.

The mayor confronted important criticism for his push to reopen faculties, and there was widespread worry amongst households and educators that it was not but protected to return to high school buildings. However the strict security measures the town put in place, together with required masking, social distancing between college students and lecturers, and weekly random testing appear to have helped preserve positivity charges in faculties extraordinarily low, the research mentioned.

“We’ve mentioned that our public faculty buildings are among the most secure locations in New York Metropolis — and we’ve obtained the numbers to again it up,” Mr. de Blasio mentioned in a press release on Wednesday.

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