A plan to rapidly reopen schools in Texas may have contributed to thousands of COVID-19 cases and hundreds of deaths, according to an analysis by economists and public policy experts from the University of Kentucky.
The analysis, which has not yet been peer reviewed, used a statistical model to estimate that roughly 43,000 people contracted COVID-19 and 800 people possibly died in Texas two months after schools reopened statewide, when virus transmission already was high.
The research highlights how in-person learning and its potential “spillover” can affect nearby communities.
Though it isn’t clear how many of those reported infections and deaths were teachers or where the deaths occurred, the data shows “robust evidence that reopening Texas schools gradually but substantially accelerated the community spread of COVID-19.”
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