In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools across the world have closed. As a result of school closures, there have been concerns about reduced educational opportunities, limited social interactions, and potential negative impact on students’ physical and mental health. Researchers are especially worried about the impact on children from low-income backgrounds. One of the major reasons for school closures is the concern for teachers being at increased risk of getting COVID-19 from in-person education.
Major study from Scotland shows no increased risk
Researchers from Scotland looked at the risk of developing COVID-19 among all adults of working age. They compared periods when schools were mostly closed with periods when schools were fully open, and also one period during a phased reopening. When schools were mostly closed, teachers showed a lower risk of being admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 than other adults of working age. When schools were fully open, the risk in both groups was similar. The quick increase in teachers getting the vaccination against COVID-19 may have contributed to their protection during a time when the delta variant was common.
Reassuring news for teachers
The results showed that teachers are not at increased risk of hospital admission or severe COVID-19. This was compared with healthcare workers or other adults of working age in the general population, including during the periods when schools were fully open.