Research says regular monitoring may be the only way to prevent a large-scale outbreak of COVID-19 in schools
Paul Tupper and Caroline Colijn of Simon Fraser University, Canada These findings are presented in the open journal PLOS Computational Biology.
Data from all over the world shows that the results of COVID-19 clusters in schools vary widely. Some environments have many large-scale outbreaks, while other environments have few serious problems. The factors responsible for this change have been unclear, and so are the most effective strategies to prevent large-scale outbreaks.
To better understand the school’s COVID-19 dynamics, Tupper and Colijn used a mathematical model to simulate the spread of the disease in the classroom. Two factors that may affect the severity of a disease outbreak are included in the simulation: differences in how easily infected individuals can spread the disease to others, and differences in the transmission rate of different environments and activities.
The simulation results show that there is In a classroom with 25 students, even if a small adjustment is made to the transmission rate of infected individuals or the environment, it is possible that 0 to 20 students may be infected after contact.
The researchers then simulated the effects of different protocols to prevent large-scale outbreaks. They found that in the case of high transmission rates, preventive measures (such as shutting down the entire class) that only take effect after students develop symptoms and test positive are too slow to prevent large-scale outbreaks. In fact, only regular monitoring of everyone in the environment, such as collective rapid detection on site, can prevent large-scale outbreaks.
Tupper said: “We found that waiting until the students showed symptoms and tested positive, the reaction was too slow, although this is a method used in many areas to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In our model, Screening for students without symptoms is quite effective, and it can also be applied to workplaces or co-living places.”
The scientists plan to include more data and expand their models to explore the The best strategy to prevent spread afterwards, including in classrooms and other occasions.