Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

October 8, 2020

Effect of School Closures on Mortality from Coronavirus Disease 2019: Old and New Predictions

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  • Simulations of SARS-CoV-2 spread in the UK using the CovidSim code, with data available in March 2020, show that prompt interventions like school closures and isolation of younger people would reduce peak demand for ICU beds, but result in a greater number of deaths in second and subsequent waves of infections. The authors note this may be due to the much greater risk of COVID-19 related mortality among older age groups, and results suggest that no mitigation strategy apart from an effective vaccination program can reduce the total number of deaths under 200,000 in the UK. The University of Edinburgh-based authors describe that this analysis was an effort to replicate and validate the model developed by the Imperial College London.

Rice et al. (Oct 7, 2020). Effect of School Closures on Mortality from Coronavirus Disease 2019: Old and New Predictions. BMJ. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3588