As fall approaches in the U.S. and school districts debate whether to resume in-person classes, the issue is complicated by a dearth of knowledge about how COVID-19 is transmitted to and from children.
Other nations have sent children back to school — or never shuttered schools to begin with — but none has done so with the virus surging as it is in the U.S. On Monday, cases in the U.S. rose by 64,605 from a day earlier to 3.34 million.
It is now broadly recognized that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be airborne in crowded, indoor spaces like schools. And children are commonly known to be spreaders of other respiratory viruses, like the seasonal flu. But while there’s significant data showing children aren’t likely to become very ill from COVID-19, there’s less information on how likely they are to transmit it to others.