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Teachers Have No Higher Risk of Severe COVID-19

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The report was published online Sept. 1 in the journal BMJ .

The risk for teachers is lower than for other groups, according to Douglas Harris, the Schlieder Foundation Chair for public education at Tulane University, New Orleans and the director of Education Research Alliance for New Orleans.

In schools where masks and social distancing are mandated, the risk of spreading COVID-19 is cut dramatically, he said.

Harris commented that Harris believes schools handle it well and that it is safe to keep the children in school.

Of course, vaccination is the key to beating the pandemic, he added.

There is still debate over whether vaccinations should be mandatory in the United States. This is the big issue. Harris stated that Harris believes that this almost must happen in order to return to normal.

Harris thinks school systems must mandate COVID-19 vaccinations to teachers, students and anyone else who is enrolled in schools.

Harris stated that they already have this in place for the children. "It is hard to imagine why you would not require it. This is the case, and that's really how we return to normal. It could continue for many years.

Harris stated that the virus is more likely to attack children and adults if there are more people vaccinated.

Harris said that schools should remain open and all measures must be taken to prevent the virus from spreading.

Harris stated that closing schools can have serious health implications. "We tend to focus on the immediate effect of schools opening and spreading the virus, which is clearly important and probably the first consideration, but when you close the schools you create a new set of problems, mental illness and child abuse, and all sorts of economic side effects."

More information

For more on COVID-19 and schools, see the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: David McAllister, MD, MPH, professor, clinical epidemiology and medical informatics, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Scotland; Douglas Harris, PhD, professor, economics, and Schlieder Foundation Chair, public education, Tulane University, New Orleans, and director, Education Research Alliance for New Orleans; BMJ , Sept. 1, 2021, online


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