In light of current evidence,
to what extent to you support school closures as a policy against COVID-19?

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32, Monday, 18-Jan-21 11:19:10 UTC, multidisciplinary, voting: none

Current evidence hardly supports that children are drivers of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the loss due to school closure is by far much higher than a highly questionable benefit.

30, Wednesday, 13-Jan-21 17:18:41 UTC, social sciences, general, voting: mostly

The danger of schools being open during COVID (especially in hard-hit countries like the United States) doesn't seem to be so much about the children suffering from the disease as it is about their teachers and family members contracting COVID and suffering long-term consequences or dying as well as contributing to community spread. Even if the percentages of COVID inside a school are the same as outside the school (data points which are often pointed to by proponents for opening schools), we need to remember that that still means that more people are now sick than would be if the school population stayed home. With mass vaccination on the horizon, we need to be patient a little while longer. After all, although remote learning is worsening the performance gap for students, especially in traditionally underserved populations, their education will suffer even more for longer periods in the future if the population of qualified teachers (many of whom are higher risk due to their ages) is decimated. There are already too few teachers in the United States; we can't afford to lose any more. (This comment is exclusively written about the United States in general - school openings may be more feasible in other countries or specific regions of the United States where COVID rates, regulations, and public compliance are appropriate enough to merit the risk)

27, Thursday, 07-Jan-21 09:18:37 UTC, psychiatry/psychology, voting: partially

School closure should be related to data on COVID-19 spread within schools.

26, Thursday, 07-Jan-21 08:47:55 UTC, clinical medicine, voting: little

Infections within schools are scarce; in high schools in Italy, still closed from November 2020, cases of infections happened most while moving to or from schools

24, Tuesday, 05-Jan-21 20:49:20 UTC, social sciences, general, voting: partially

In areas where the r number is excessive, I believe that families who are able to keep their children home should do so. I believe that schools should remain open for those children who need to be in school for pedagogical reasons or whose families are not able to care for them at home or are not able to meet their child's learning needs. This would allow for more space in schools for children who need to be there.

23, Tuesday, 05-Jan-21 11:45:08 UTC, engineering, voting: none

Additional comment: IF a school is heavily affected by a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak (or another virus or pathogen), of course, this school should be closed for a given time. That's 'business as asual' during an epidemic/pandemic, independent from the pathogen.

22, Tuesday, 05-Jan-21 11:15:12 UTC, immunology, voting: partially

Children of school age can get infected with SARS-CoV-2 and can infect others. However, current evidence suggests that children are not drivers of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, school closures should be the last resort.

19, Tuesday, 05-Jan-21 09:31:12 UTC, social sciences, general, voting: partially

Whereas I support school closures in general as a response to managing the spread of covid-19, I am not in support of blanket policies without considering the specifics of a school, jurisdiction and or region. I believe that educators and school leaders must provide input into these decisions based on their ability to manage smaller class sizes and health/safety protocols (such as masking, hand washing, ventilation, social distancing, outdoor space available). I also believe that regional statistics and newest scientific information must be used to make these decisions. There must be transparency, collaboration and partnership leading the policy making and implementation process.

18, Sunday, 03-Jan-21 20:35:05 UTC, clinical medicine, voting: mostly

For a short time (a few weeks) this is now critical. Keeping all third level students from returning to campus (even if they are doing all their classes online) also needs to be delayed.

17, Saturday, 02-Jan-21 04:04:17 UTC, chemistry, voting: fully

The students easily get distracted during school time and simply neglect the social distancing and proper usage of the masks, comparing to adults. They normally have no symptoms and bring the infection to the home, so the parent and siblings will be infected all together and will realise it when it is too late. We all got infected just a few days after the schools opening in late September. Before that, we were successful to manage it, in spite of regular weekly shopping activities; however, once the school opened we caught the virus via our son. He tested positive first with very minor symptoms, and then in a few days we other family members got it and tested positive one after another in the same household. That was trrible.

16, Friday, 01-Jan-21 13:09:21 UTC, other, voting: mostly

i don't think this question can be addressed on a scale of 1-5. it depends on how, when, and why it is done. one thing is certain: population antibody surveys are showing that children are infected at the same rate as adults, so it is a myth that children do not get infected at a significant rate.

15, Friday, 01-Jan-21 12:57:49 UTC, clinical medicine, voting: fully

Existing compulsory school structures become visible. That different school and support structures are needed in physical and distance education, is not an argument to disown distance education. Schools might want to not have to adjust and adapt, they might not know how to - but weighing this in one hand, and covid in the other - its the former that needs to take off. Much focus has been on the teachers' ability to adjust - not the principals or the schools - it is as if they were denying that they too need to be agile in the withstanding situation. Young pupils may need a mentor at home - how can professional brainstorm and innovate around this need? Even the most motivated and highly engaged digital natives, are suffering from the direct and indirect impact(s) of covid. But this is not due to distance education per se. Distance education may in fact help halting the spread of the virus and thus the suffering. But distance education should no longer be 'good enough' and 'up to each teacher' -we have to come together to boost the generation to follow; make distance education great - evolve school structures, provide professional development make it work.

14, Thursday, 31-Dec-20 20:53:25 UTC, social sciences, general, voting: little

I think that school closures are doing far more harm than the virus us - especially for younger children, students who were already behind academically prior to the pandemic, low income students, and students with disabilities. Yes, the virus and ways to mitigate the spread of it should be factors that are considered. But so should other aspects of public health that are just as important - including social development of young students, mental health, etc. I could see situations where you prioritize younger students and have older students temporarily online where the virus is high; however, the default position must be that schools are open.

11, Thursday, 31-Dec-20 13:35:47 UTC, clinical medicine, voting: partially

I don't like your question. It is not that simple, and publishing the result of this question would be misleading. The current evidence suggests that wide spread schools closures for elementary/primary school are probably unnecessary, but targeted closure maybe at times. For US high school I think the evidence is more mixed. There are host of tradeoffs that need to be considered, and ultimately in some areas it may be a close call. It also depends on what mitigation actions schools can adopt. For example, any organization that can run relatively rapid testing 2-3 times per week, with contact tracing and isolation should be fine to operate (see NBA example). On the other hand, where schools provide many social services, the benefits of those service may out way the risk. School closures also have large labor market effects and disproportionally impact women. All of these factors may your question a really poor one. If the question where are school closure one useful tool in the toolbox for combating COVID-19, and a potential answer were 'at times,' then I would say sure. But, I worry you will publishes (looking at current results - which by the way likely biases respondents) 33% of expects say schools should be closed is just bunk.

10, Thursday, 31-Dec-20 12:41:29 UTC, social sciences, general, voting: none

I believe that closures especially for children <11 are very harmful and do not slow the viral spread

7, Thursday, 31-Dec-20 11:20:57 UTC, clinical medicine, voting: little

I support school open for younger than 10 yrs old. For every one strict adherence to rules such as masking fulltime and distance between desks with reduced time on shared area eg breaks. Older kids admitted to school according to local community diffusion of the virus, and anyway distance maybe with reduced kids per classroom even on shared time (a group morning a group afternoon). Teachers prioritized for vaccination!

6, Thursday, 31-Dec-20 10:50:08 UTC, clinical medicine, voting: fully

School closures were unnecessary and counterproductive in the first wave, indirectly making the second wave difficult to control. Now, the new variant won't be stopped without them, and the vaccine provides a realistic exit strategy..

5, Thursday, 31-Dec-20 10:41:39 UTC, clinical medicine, voting: partially

It helps to reduce the number of contacts but, on the other hand, the number of infections in schools is fairly limited and I fear that it is harmful to many children.

4, Thursday, 31-Dec-20 10:08:14 UTC, clinical medicine, voting: fully

We need to contain the virus now quickly and start vaccinating the population. Stopping students crossing the country to go to university and/or college will reduce transmission. Students could be used as volunteer vaccinators locally to achieve herd immunity. The summer term could be extended. Similarly with school children, keep them at home to stop community spread.

2, Thursday, 31-Dec-20 09:24:56 UTC, multidisciplinary, voting: mostly

Schools are indoor gatherings and pupils can get infected and transmit it to family members. Sufficient ventilation is mandatory to minimise contagion

1, Thursday, 31-Dec-20 08:50:48 UTC, social sciences, general, voting: partially

They key fact is that, we need to investigate and consider this phenomenon in each country separately. For example, it is not possible for all Iranian families and students, particularly those who have no access to the internet (30%), to participate in classrooms through E-learning strategies.