Infectious Disease

CDC researchers estimate the price of safely reopening colleges

December 31, 2020

1 min read

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CDC researchers estimated that the average school district would have to invest between $ 55 and $ 442 per student to safely return to face-to-face learning, according to a report published in MMWR.

Ketra L. Rice, PhD, a CDC health economist, and colleagues on the CDC COVID-19 Response Team identified three categories and estimated how much each school district would cost in supplies and supplies, additional supervisory staff, and potential additional transportation to reopen safely.

An average of $ 55 per student would provide materials and supplies only, they calculated. A maximum average of $ 442 per student would also provide supervisory staff and additional transportation.

“These estimates provide schools, districts, and other jurisdictions with the cost information needed to budget and prioritize resources during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors wrote.

These costs would cover five mitigation strategies that the authors found would lead to a safe reopening for schools, students, teachers, and administrators:

  • Consistent and correct use of masks;
  • Social distancing as much as possible;
  • Hand hygiene and breath etiquette;
  • Cleaning and desinfection;
  • Contact tracking in collaboration with the local health departments.

The authors found that another mitigation strategy that could be used concurrently is to cohort and defer class planning.

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