White Coat, Black Art·THE DOSE

What do I need to know about schools and the current spike of COVID-19?

Across Canada there is a patchwork of inconsistent conclusions on whether or not schools are contributing to the exponential spread of COVID-19. Amy Greer, Canada Research Chair in Population Disease Modelling, joins The Dose host Dr. Brian Goldman to provide some clear, science-based answers.
A group of students walk near a school in Vancouver, B.C. Some provinces and territories have been steadfast in keeping schools open during the second wave of the pandemic. But some jurisdictions, including Alberta, have announced plans to move high school students home as COVID-19 cases surge. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Across Canada there is a patchwork of inconsistent conclusions on whether or not schools are contributing to the exponential spread of COVID-19, leaving many parents and teachers confused.

Keeping schools open has been the default position as experts try to avoid the educational and mental health effects of school closures we saw during the spring. But the Alberta government, citing about 180 COVID-19 outbreaks in schools across the province, has announced it would be sending high school students home at the end of November.  In the U.S., New York City's mayor recently shut down all schools.  

How much of the decision-making around COVID spread and schools is science-based and how much is political?  Amy Greer, Canada Research Chair in Population Disease Modelling and an associate professor in the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph, joins The Dose host Dr. Brian Goldman to help listeners understand what the evidence tells us so far — and where the knowledge gaps are.  

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