“When we look at what has happened in the UK and think about this new variant and see that all the numbers are rising, we have to remember that schools are open with virtually no changes,” said Dr Jenkins said. “I would like to see a real example of a country, state, or place like this that has managed to control things in schools.”
There are a few examples in the United States.
Erin Bromage, an immunologist at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, advised the Governor of Rhode Island and schools in southern Massachusetts on preventive measures to fight the coronavirus. The schools, which followed closely the guidelines, didn’t see many infections, even with the virus circulating at high levels in the community, said Dr. Bromage.
“When the system is properly designed and we take kids to school, they’ll be just as safe, if not more secure, than in a hybrid or remote system,” he said.
The children of the school that Dr. Visited Bromage, took extra precautions. For example, the administrators closed the school a few days before Thanksgiving to reduce the risk of family reunions, and worked remotely for the week after the vacation.
Officials tested the nearly 300 students and staff at the end of that week, found only two cases, and decided to reopen.
“That gave us confidence that our population was not representative of what we saw in the wider community,” he said. “We used data to see if we could get back together.”
The tests are costing $ 61 per child, but schools that can’t afford it might consider testing teachers only, he added, as the data suggests that the virus “is more likely to be from teacher to teacher than student wanders to teacher ”.