“The surprising thing is how robust this finding is, given some pretty plausible discrepancies,” said A. David Paltiel, professor of health policy and management at the Yale School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study.

Class disturbed

Updated March 22, 2021

The latest on how the pandemic is changing education.

Still, there have been many scenarios that the model has not tested and the paper has yet to undergo a thorough assessment.

His predictions should also be tested in the real world, said Dr. O’Connor: “It needs to be researched and tested directly with other assignment methods.”

However, if the results are correct, it would mean that schools and other institutions that are trying to reopen safely should think beyond their own walls in developing testing programs. “Even if your goal is only to protect the students in your care, you will still do what you can to protect these students by caring for the people in the surrounding community,” said Dr. Paltiel. “That’s a pretty strong argument.”

Some universities are starting to adopt this outlook. The CMU is now offering free testing to all contacts self-reported by its students, whether or not they are affiliated with the university, and operates a testing site open to local residents, said Amy Bronson, co-chair of the university’s Covid -19 task force and author of the paper.

And in November, the University of California at Davis began offering free coronavirus tests to anyone who lives or works in the city. The Healthy Davis Together program, a partnership with the city, has since performed more than 450,000 tests and identified more than 1,000 people with the virus, said Brad Pollock, an epidemiologist at UC Davis who leads the project.

“A virus doesn’t respect geographic boundaries,” said Dr. Pollock. “It’s ridiculous to think that in a city like Davis, which has a very large university, you can get control of an acute respiratory infectious disease like Covid-19 without coordinated public health actions that include both Connect the university as well as the community. “