CDC Recommendations for ("against") School Closures in Response to COVID-19

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued recommendations or considerations regarding school closure. The considerations based on data from other countries suggest that school closures will probably have no impact on how fast COVID-19 would spread. The CDC states, "Available modeling data indicate that early, short to medium closures do not impact the epi curve of COVID-19 or available health care measures (e.g., hospitalizations). There may be some impact of much longer closures (8 weeks, 20 weeks) further into community spread, but that modelling also shows that other mitigation efforts (e.g., handwashing, home isolation) have more impact on both spread of disease and health care measures.  In other countries, those places who closed school (e.g., Hong Kong) have not had more success in reducing spread than those that did not (e.g., Singapore)."

Before this past Thursday evening, the Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) District is actually following CDC guidelines as outlined in the flowchart below:

Above copied from CDC

If school closures are not effective, CDC offers an answer on what nonpharmaceutical interventions are working in HongKong and Singapore, as noted in the excerpt provided at the beginning of this post:

...other mitigation efforts (e.g., handwashing, home isolation) have more impact on both spread of disease and health care measures....


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