January 17, 2021

COVID cases among teachers appear to be rising. What does that mean?

In New York, Texas, and a slice of the rest of the country where data is available, teachers and other staff where school buildings are open have higher COVID infection rates than their surrounding communities.

Critically, the data does not show whether teachers caught the virus in schools, or offer definitive answers about the risks of school reopening. It’s possible the results reflect more widespread testing among teachers, and the evidence that remote teachers have lower infection rates is mixed. But the latest data complicates our understanding of the risks of school reopening.

Experts say the latest data is notable but not conclusive. The findings underscore how much the information school officials have to rely on when deciding to open school buildings continues to shift.

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