View Full Article

An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Paul R. Teran, MD
Julia Kononowicz, MD
Stephanie Kuhlmann, DO
Julian Dedeaux, PhD
Kari Harris, MD

Objective:

During fall 2020, schools used a variety of learning modes based on anticipated risk of viral transmission within schools.

Methods:

De-identified SARS-CoV-2 data from 11 school districts in the Wichita, Kansas metropolitan area from August 1 to November 15, 2020, was collated for analysis. The Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD) and Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) databases were accessed for community-level and contact tracing data.

Results:

Altogether, 13,573 staff and 54,479 students receiving full or partial on-site (hybrid) education were included. Few students (1.4%) or staff (4.7%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. District rates varied from 0.1% to 3.3% in students and 0.7% to 8.7% in staff. Students in grades 9-12 had a higher rate of positive tests and cases were more likely linked to school-based exposure. Staff rate by grade level did not show an identifiable trend; staff rates were higher in non-attendance centers.

Conclusions:

Low SARS-CoV-2 student case rates suggests on-site learning formats may be appropriate. School trends reflected community rate reinforcing that community-level interventions are necessary to decrease transmission. As new variants arise, transmission characteristics must be studied. Health and education partnership is important to ensure the greatest well-being for students and staff.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 8, Number 6, November 2021, pp. 575-584(10)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.8.6.8