New York Metropolis’s public colleges have seen remarkably low virus transmission in contrast with the citywide price of constructive check ends in the months because the nation’s largest faculty system reopened for 1000’s of scholars, in accordance with a significant new peer-reviewed research within the medical journal Pediatrics.
Of over 200,000 individuals who have been examined in metropolis faculty buildings from October to December, solely .4 p.c of checks got here again constructive for the coronavirus. That was throughout a interval when virus instances have been spiking in the neighborhood.
And even when instances have been detected, comparatively few shut contacts within the faculty ended up testing constructive for the virus throughout the identical interval: .5 p.c of school-based contacts who quarantined contracted the virus.
“In-person studying in New York Metropolis public colleges was not related to elevated prevalence or incidence general of Covid-19 an infection in contrast with the final group,” the research’s authors wrote. The research was led by Dr. Jay Varma, Mayor Invoice de Blasio’s senior well being adviser.
Nonetheless, school-based testing has been random and subsequently centered extra on figuring out asymptomatic instances, whereas many New Yorkers who bought examined outdoors colleges had signs or had been uncovered to the virus.
Mr. de Blasio reopened school rooms final September, months earlier than many different giant districts, significantly within the Northeast and on the West Coast. The town closed colleges in November as virus instances surged, and has step by step reopened all through the winter and spring. Nonetheless, the overwhelming majority of metropolis faculty college students, roughly 700,000 youngsters, have elected to be taught from house for the remainder of the varsity yr.
The mayor confronted important criticism for his push to reopen colleges, and there was widespread worry amongst households and educators that it was not but protected to return to high school buildings. However the strict security measures the town put in place, together with required masking, social distancing between college students and lecturers, and weekly random testing appear to have helped maintain positivity charges in colleges extraordinarily low, the research mentioned.
“We’ve mentioned that our public faculty buildings are among the most secure locations in New York Metropolis — and we’ve bought the numbers to again it up,” Mr. de Blasio mentioned in a press release on Wednesday.