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Incidence and Secondary Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Schools
Zimmerman, K. O., Akinboyo, I. C., Brookhart, M. A., Boutzoukas, A. E., McGann, K., Smith, M. J., Maradiaga Panayotti, G., Armstrong, S. C., Bristow, H., Parker, D., Zadrozny, S., Weber, D. J., & Benjamin, D. K. for The ABC Science Collaborative
From the abstract: "BACKGROUND: In an effort to mitigate the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), North Carolina (NC) closed its K-12 public schools to in-person instruction on 03/14/2020. On 07/15/2020, NC's governor announced schools could open via remote learning or a "hybrid" model that combined in-person and remote instruction. In August 2020, 56 of 115 NC school districts joined the ABC Science Collaborative (ABCs) to implement public health measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission and share lessons learned. We describe secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within participating NC school districts during the first 9 weeks of in-person instruction in the 2020-2021 academic school year. METHODS: From 08/15/2020-10/23/2020, 11 of 56 school districts participating in ABCs were open for in-person instruction for all 9 weeks of the first quarter and agreed to track incidence and secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Local health department staff adjudicated secondary transmission. Superintendents met weekly with ABCs faculty to share lessons learned and develop prevention methods. RESULTS: Over 9 weeks, 11 participating school districts had more than 90,000 students and staff attend school in-person; of these, there were 773 community-acquired SARS-CoV-2 infections documented by molecular testing. Through contact tracing, NC health department staff determined an additional 32 infections were acquired within schools. No instances of child-to-adult transmission of SARS-CoV-2 were reported within schools. CONCLUSIONS: In the first 9 weeks of in-person instruction in NC schools, we found extremely limited within-school secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2, as determined by contact tracing."
Zimmerman, K. O., Akinboyo, I. C., Brookhart, M. A., Boutzoukas, A. E., McGann, K., Smith, M. J., Maradiaga Panayotti, G., Armstrong, S. C., Bristow, H., Parker, D., Zadrozny, S., Weber, D. J., & Benjamin, D. K. for The ABC Science Collaborative. (2021). Incidence and secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infections in schools. Pediatrics. Advance online publication. doi:10.1542/peds.2020-048090