Impact of School Reopening on Viral Infection Rates. Week 1.

The wholesale reopening of schools on March 8th has already had an impact on the rate of viral transmission.

The National Education Union has a site that measures the rate of infection per 100,000 people in the areas around every school in the country. I have looked at the figures for the areas around three Primary schools with which I have a personal connection – the one I went to, one I taught in, and the one my children went to. I will be updating these on a weekly basis, every Thursday.

The impact of schools reopening can be seen clearly. No other significant measures have been taken to ease lockdown at this point, so this passes the “fair test” criteria for identifying the impact of a single variable (1).

You can check out what is happening in schools near you by going on the NEU covid map site. I would be surprised if the pattern were any different anywhere else.

In Islington, the infection rate is still declining, but the rate of decline is leveling off.

In Brent, the rate of infection has leveled off almost completely, from a previously sharp decline.

In Thurrock, there has been a very small increase, from a rate of decline that was previously similar to Brent’s.

This is quite a disturbing immediate impact. My presumption is that, other things being equal, these trends will continue between now and the Easter break.

The tragedy of this is that keeping schools shut until after the easter break could have got infections down to a point at which and effective Teast and Trace system would have been in a position to eliminate domestic infections.

  1. Level 3 in Key Stage 2 Science.

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