Many school districts across the nation will once again open for in-person instruction later this month. But data on how COVID-19 spreads in schools remain inadequate.
At the request of one of my readers, I’ve updated my annotations of state K-12 data reporting, first published on December 6. The annotations are posted on a new resource page, which also includes notes on the four major national sources for COVID-19 school data. I’ll be updating this page every two weeks.
Here’s how the state data stand, as of January 1:
- 34 states and the District of Columbia are reporting COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools, in some form
- 7 states are reporting incomplete data on school outbreaks or cases in school-aged children
- 20 states are separating out school case counts by students and staff
- 5 states are reporting deaths linked to school outbreaks
- 1 state is reporting COVID-19 tests conducted for school students and staff (New York)
- 2 states are reporting in-person enrollment (New York and Texas)
- CDC says schools should reopen, but will data improve?The CDC made a major announcement this Friday: the agency updated its recommendations for COVID-19 safety in K-12 schools. The guidance adds to growing evidence that the majority of America’s K-12 schools will be fully open in the fall. But we still do not have good data on COVID-19 in schools.
- Fall school reopening plans demonstrate continued data gapVaccine options for children ages 12 and older (now Pfizer, soon Moderna) make in-person education a safe bet for a lot of families. But younger students will likely have to wait much longer for their shots. As a result, regular testing will continue to be a key safety strategy… but school testing data continue to be hard to come by.
- State K-12 school data still leave much to be desiredThe academic year is coming to an end for most schools pretty soon, so we thought it’d be appropriate to check in on the state of state K-12 COVID-19 data. We’ve been keeping track of the metrics reported by states throughout the fall and spring, but states have not improved much through the school year.
- CDC says 80% of teachers and childcare workers are vaccinated, fails to provide more specificsThis past Tuesday, April 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out a press release that I found heartening, yet confusing. “Nearly 80 percent of teachers, school staff, and childcare workers receive at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine,” the release proclaims. These vaccinations include “more than 2 million” people in these professions who received doses through the federal retail pharmacy program and “5-6 million” vaccinated through state programs, all of whom received shots before the end of March.