Is there a data point we should consider when deciding to open schools? Positivity rate, number of cases, etc.?

Is there a data point we should consider when deciding to open schools? Positivity rate, number of cases, etc.? Is there a data point we should consider when deciding to open schools? Positivity rate, number of cases, etc.?

1 Expert Answer

Terry Adirim, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.

Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Chair of the Department of Integrated Biomedical Science,  Florida Atlantic University

Local communities should consider multiple measures in deciding whether to open schools for in-person instruction. In particular, communities should experience at least two weeks of declining numbers of cases and achieve fewer than 10 new cases per 100,000 people per day before reopening schools for in-person instruction. Lower numbers of cases in the community would reduce the risk of outbreaks and when there are outbreaks, public health officials will be better able to contain these outbreaks with testing and contact tracing. It is important to consider carefully the root cause of an elevated positivity rate. While elevated positivity rates may just indicate that a community is not testing enough, it can also indicate that there is significant community spread.

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