What should be considered when deciding whether to re-open schools or keep them open?:WHO
NEW DELHI: Deciding to close, partially close, or reopen schools should be guided by a risk-based approach, to maximize the educational, well-being, and health benefit for students, teachers, staff, and the wider community, and help prevent a new outbreak of COVID-19 in the community.
Several elements should be assessed in deciding to re-open schools or keep them open:
The epidemiology of COVID-19 at the local level: This may vary from one place to another within a country
Benefits and risks: what are the likely benefits and risks to children and staff of open schools? Including consideration of:
Transmission intensity in the area where the school operates: No cases, sporadic transmission; clusters transmission or community transmission
The overall impact of school closures on education, general health and wellbeing; and on vulnerable and marginalized populations (e.g. girls, displaced or disabled)
Effectiveness of remote learning strategies
Detection and response: Are the local health authorities able to act quickly?
The capacity of schools/educational institutions to operate safely
Collaboration and coordination: Is the school collaborating with local public health authorities?
The range of other public health measures being implemented outside school