HEALTH CARECOMMENTARY

Why In-Person Schooling Would Be One of the Safest Activities to Reopen

Kevin Pham @KL_Pham / July 10, 2020 / The Daily Signal

COMMENTARY BY

Kevin Pham@KL_Pham

Kevin Pham, a medical doctor, is a contributor to The Daily Signal and a former graduate fellow in health policy at The Heritage Foundation.

Most students around the country haven’t been to school since March, when large parts of the country began to lock down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the data increasingly suggests that reopening schools entails the least risks and should be a goal of every level of government.

The early hope was that the closures would be temporary, such as Michigan’s school-closure order that was originally meant to end in April—but that was extended for the rest of the school year.

Now, with the 2020-2021 school year fast approaching, what do we do about schools?

COMMENTARY BY

Kevin Pham@KL_Pham

Kevin Pham, a medical doctor, is a contributor to The Daily Signal and a former graduate fellow in health policy at The Heritage Foundation.

Most students around the country haven’t been to school since March, when large parts of the country began to lock down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the data increasingly suggests that reopening schools entails the least risks and should be a goal of every level of government.

The early hope was that the closures would be temporary, such as Michigan’s school-closure order that was originally meant to end in April—but that was extended for the rest of the school year.

Now, with the 2020-2021 school year fast approaching, what do we do about schools?

>>> What’s the best way for America to reopen and return to business? The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, a project of The Heritage Foundation, assembled America’s top thinkers to figure that out. So far, it has made more than 260 recommendations. Learn more here.

In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>

School closures have been a particular burden on families during the pandemic, but new information increasingly shows that school-age children are at the lowest risk of mortality, of severe disease, and possibly of even contracting the virus.

Reopening the schools may be one of the safest activities the nation can restart with tremendous benefit for Americans, and governments should make it their goal to do so.

There are several studies that suggest children are less likely to be infected by the virus. A pediatric organization, Don’t Forget the Bubbles, compiled some of those and found that children were consistently less likely than adults to contract the virus.

For instance, a study from Japan found that the COVID-19 attack rate among those younger than 20—that is to say, the rate at which those exposed become infected—was 5.5%.

Compare that to the attack rate among adults ages 50 to 59, which was 22.1%. The relative risk of children contracting the disease after an exposure was about one-fourth that of adults ages 50 to 59.

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