Coronavirus: do schools amplify the epidemic?

Published by Rizhlaine F. · Published on 26 April 2021 at 10h59
After closing for three weeks, schools are progressively reopening in France. But do schools amplify the coronavirus epidemic?

One fact can lead to several interpretations, and for instance, the question about the influence of schools on the spread of coronavirus in France could be one. The many closures of schools, the cases of variants detected, as well as the hypothesis children are super-contaminators could be as many clues showing schools are amplifying the Covid-19 epidemic.

But in an article issued in the British Medical Journal, Institut Pasteur Pr. Arnaud Fontanet looks at contaminations within schools in a new light. He says the latter do not amplify the epidemic, but mostly reflect the health situation within this environment. Cases detected in schools are therefore not the cause of the spread but a consequence.

Stating that children under 10 years old are 30 to 50% less likely to be contaminated by the virus than adults, and they seem to be less contagious – unlike the previous hypothesis that spread at the beginning of the health crisis – he considers schools are not places more likely to cause covid infections than others, adding on the same occasion teachers are not more likely to be contaminated because of their profession than other people of the same age and gender. Yet, if the situation happens to deteriorate, he recommends a remote-teaching system every two week for junior high schools and high schools, adding elementary schools should close as late as possible.

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