College Reopenings Tied to Some COVID-19 Spikes

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(Reuters) – College communities exterior of closely populated areas could also be notably weak to COVID-19 transmission from pupil influxes, new analysis suggests.

Researchers analyzed the affect of reopening U.S. universities with not less than 15,000 college students within the fall 2020 semester in 80 counties with not less than 1 million residents, 49 counties with 250,000 to 999,999 residents, and 44 counties with as much as 249,999 residents.

Reopenings had been linked with “dramatic” COVID-19 spikes in counties with fewer than 250,000 residents, whereas bigger counties “had a flat an infection progress charge,” based on Mike Penuliar of Texas Tech College Well being Sciences Middle.

An infection charges within the counties that skilled spikes by no means returned to pre-reopening ranges, his crew reported on medRxiv forward of peer assessment.

“Spikes in rural areas will be dire,” Penuliar stated, noting fewer hospital assets, intensive care unit beds and professional medical personnel in these areas.

Coauthor Billy Philips, additionally of Texas Tech College Well being Sciences Middle, added that a lot of the autumn surges on this research will be attributed to a weak pool of individuals within the basic inhabitants being contaminated by faculty college students who usually tend to have gentle or asymptomatic illness and unwittingly unfold the virus.

SOURCE: medRxiv, on-line November 29, 2020.

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