Research paper: "Opening K-12 schools in the US with no mask requirement for staff may increase the spread of COVID-19"

With Victor Chernozhukov at MIT and Paul Schrimpf at UBC, we have written a paper on the association of K-12 school openings with the spread of COVID-19 using SafeGraph data: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.20.21252131v1 Opening K-12 schools in the US with no mask requirement for staff may increase the spread of COVID-19 | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal

Hi @Hiroyuki_Kasahara, this was an amazing and detailed read! Congratulations on your work here!

I am curious if you plan to alter your SIR model variant to take vaccine distribution into account as a kind of counter balance - i.e. could you predict what percent of vaccines should be administered before the cost-benefit analysis of k-12 schools returning would be a no-brainer?

This question was prompted by your writing here:

> Finally, our result does not necessarily imply that K-12 schools should be closed. Closing schools have negative impacts on children’s learning and may cause declining mental healths among children. The decision to open or close K-12 schools requires careful assessments of the cost and the benefit.
Thanks again for sharing!

Hi Jack, Thanks for your suggestions! Your question—which is very specific—is not easy to answer, I think. We are currently working on vaccination effects and I expect that the coefficient of K-12 school visits and other visits in case or death growth equation would go down with the proportion of vaccinated people. But, the first thing I would like to examine is the impact of vaccinations on elderly and those at nursing home or assisted living places. In fact, the visits to nursing home or assisted living places starts going up recently according to the SafeGraph data. Any comments and suggestions are welcome!

Thank you for the reply and wow! that is a scary thought. I mean it makes sense as moral grows and fear of the virus subsides due to the vaccine I suppose it is expected that trips to nursing homes or assisted living would increase. The repercussions of which will hopefully be little to none

I actually think that nursing home and assisted living places are opening up because every resident and staff member got vaccinated. Otherwise, it’s scary as you say. We can empirically examine if cases and deaths at assisted living places do not increase even after we see the increase in visits to those places.

thanks – really excited to read this!