Implications of the school-household network structure on SARS-CoV-2 transmission under school reopening strategies in England

CMMID COVID-19 Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In early 2020 many countries closed schools to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Since then, governments have sought to relax the closures, engendering a need to understand associated risks. Using address records, we construct a network of schools in England connected through pupils who share households. We evaluate the risk of transmission between schools under different reopening scenarios. We show that whilst reopening select year-groups causes low risk of large-scale transmission, reopening secondary schools could result in outbreaks affecting up to 2.5 million households if unmitigated, highlighting the importance of careful monitoring and within-school infection control to avoid further school closures or other restrictions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1942
JournalNature Communications
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control
  • England/epidemiology
  • Family Characteristics
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
  • Schools/organization & administration

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