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Staff–pupil SARS-CoV-2 infection pathways in schools in Wales: a population-level linked data approach

Daniel Thompson, Hoda Abbasizanjani Orcid Logo, Rich Fry Orcid Logo, Emily Marchant Orcid Logo, Lucy Griffiths Orcid Logo, Ashley Akbari Orcid Logo, Joe Hollinghurst, Laura North, Jane Lyons, Fatemeh Torabi Orcid Logo, Gareth Davies Orcid Logo, Michael Gravenor Orcid Logo, Ronan Lyons Orcid Logo

BMJ Paediatrics Open, Volume: 5, Issue: 1, Start page: e001049

Swansea University Authors: Daniel Thompson, Hoda Abbasizanjani Orcid Logo, Rich Fry Orcid Logo, Emily Marchant Orcid Logo, Lucy Griffiths Orcid Logo, Ashley Akbari Orcid Logo, Joe Hollinghurst, Laura North, Jane Lyons, Fatemeh Torabi Orcid Logo, Gareth Davies Orcid Logo, Michael Gravenor Orcid Logo, Ronan Lyons Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Background: Better understanding of the role that children and school staff play in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is essential to guide policy development on controlling infection while minimising disruption to children’s education and well-being.Methods: Our national e-cohort (n=464531) study used...

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Published in: BMJ Paediatrics Open
ISSN: 2399-9772
Published: BMJ 2021
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa56848
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Abstract: Background: Better understanding of the role that children and school staff play in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is essential to guide policy development on controlling infection while minimising disruption to children’s education and well-being.Methods: Our national e-cohort (n=464531) study used anonymised linked data for pupils, staff and associated households linked via educational settings in Wales. We estimated the odds of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection for staff and pupils over the period August– December 2020, dependent on measures of recent exposure to known cases linked to their educational settings.Results: The total number of cases in a school was not associated with a subsequent increase in the odds of testing positive (staff OR per case: 0.92, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.00; pupil OR per case: 0.98, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.02). Among pupils, the number of recent cases within the same year group was significantly associated with subsequent increased odds of testing positive (OR per case: 1.12, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.15). These effects were adjusted for a range of demographic covariates, and in particular any known cases within the same household, which had the strongest association with testing positive (staff OR: 39.86, 95% CI 35.01 to 45.38; pupil OR: 9.39, 95% CI 8.94 to 9.88).Conclusions: In a national school cohort, the odds of staff testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection were not significantly increased in the 14-day period after case detection in the school. However, pupils were found to be at increased odds, following cases appearing within their own year group, where most of their contacts occur. Strong mitigation measures over the whole of the study period may have reduced wider spread within the school environment.
College: Swansea University Medical School
Funders: This work was supported by the Medical Research Council (grant number: MR/V028367/1); Health Data Research UK (grant number: HDR-9006), which receives its funding from the UK Medical Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Department of Health and Social Care (England), Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates, Health and Social Care Research and Development Division (Welsh Government), Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland), British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the Wellcome Trust; and Administrative Data Research UK, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (grant number: ES/S007393/1).
Issue: 1
Start Page: e001049