No Known Case of Teacher Catching COVID-19 from Pupils

Perhaps Virginia teachers terrified of returning to schools this fall should read this article in the Financial Times (of London):

There has been no recorded case of a teacher catching the coronavirus from a pupil anywhere in the world, according to one of the government’s leading scientific advisers.

Mark Woolhouse, a leading epidemiologist and member of the government’s Sage committee, told The Times that it may have been a mistake to close schools in March given the limited role children play in spreading the virus.

Who is Mark Woolhouse? Other than the fact that he is a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, I don’t know. Does he have credibility? I don’t know. But the Financial Times does, and other UK newspapers are reporting this story as well. Inevitably, someone will dispute Woolhouse’s reading of the data. This may turn into a case of dueling experts. Still, it’s worth asking if we’re in the grip of mass hysteria over COVID-19. It’s worth pondering if we’re letting fear destroy our society.


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33 responses to “No Known Case of Teacher Catching COVID-19 from Pupils

  1. You know the answer. In the minds of the left “science” is critical unless it conflicts with their base or runs counter to their socialist agenda. The same is true for racial equity, support for children, etc.

    The school reopening is a case in point. The Academy of Pediatricians has come out saying that reopening is worth the risk. This epidemiologist says no teachers will get sick from infected children. It doesn’t matter. The teachers don’t want to go back to work. Maybe they are genuinely afraid or maybe they just like working from home. It doesn’t matter. The Democratic politicians will listen to their base over any concern about the children’s future.

    Now, who bears the brunt of these school closings and largely ineffective online learning? Rich kids who go to private schools that do reopen? Middle class kids who go to public school but have parents working from home? No. It’s the kids whose are poor, disproportionately minority being raised by a single parent who is an essential worker away from the home all day. The left doesn’t care. Racial equity? Not when the teachers’ unions make demands. Racial equity can go straight out the window.

  2. The big question is how Northam will force the private schools to close their facilities and teach online. I read through as many of his regulations as I could stand and didn’t find anything that would force a well run private school to close its facilities. Since school districts like Virginia Beach have yet to decide they must see some way to possible reopening under the Northam regulations.

    What’s a virtue signaler like Northam to do. Sit by and watch as private school buses ply the streets taking kids to and from school while the parents of public school kids watch their children’s education fall through the floor? That doesn’t sound very woke.

    He’s got to dream up someway to make the private schools teach virtually too, doesn’t he?

    • I would not discount the GA presenting some type of bill in the name of equity that forces the private schools to close. It’ll more than likely include some type of monitoring or reporting that is so burdensome that they will be forced to be closed until Dr Northam recinds the emergency action.

    • See my column

      Unless the Governor’s Chief of Staff directs changes to the pending regulations before they are officially published, which I have asked him to do, the new Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) COVID workplace safety regulations will be used to shut down any schools that open for in-person instruction. The unions successfully lobbied DOLI for the change.

      The DOLI regulations, which are even stronger than the CDC guidelines for reopening primary and secondary schools and colleges, proscribe in-person offerings in schools when online offerings are possible. They aren’t official until published in the RTD.

      The VDOE regulations were revised on July 1 to ease the CDC restrictions of 6 ft. social distancing to 3 ft. based on American Academy of Pediatrics and WHO guidelines.

      Let’s watch together what version of the DOLI regulations make it into the RTD.

      It will tell us whether the Governor has the courage of his convictions, or at least his convictions two weeks ago.

      • James Wyatt Whitehead V

        Captain Sherlock this would be the final disaster. So many of us were counting on the private schools. This is the kind of nonsense that will get me on the streets in anger. I am not going to play nice either.

  3. “No Known Case of Teacher Catching COVID-19 from Pupils”

    There is, of course, a simple reason for this SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED, and were closed early.

    But, as they say, “The proof of the pudding…”. Just be prepared

  4. There are countries where the schools never closed, and yet, there are no documented cases of teachers catching it from a student.

    On the other hand, teenagers may transmit it to each other. Elementary school children don’t seem to transmit it, either to each other, or to teachers. Age matters. But at least schools for the younger children should reopen.

    A German study says the schools should reopen.

  5. In almost all other countries – mask wearing is universally accepted and not controversial and done as a matter of standard practice in schools.

    Can anyone imagine how this will work in this country with kids of parents who oppose mask wearing?

    social distancing in schools in other countries appears to be 6 feet and more with partitions not 3 feet. Where is the science for the 3 feet? “Science” is not some person or some group just making the claim.

    We also need short-turnaround testing or else multiple teachers would have to self-isolate for a week or more and cripple the school. If short-turnaround testing is not available what are teachers to do when one teacher actually gets COVID19 – just self isolate and close the school?

    People are in denial about the virus.

    but the biggest thing is the hate towards teachers – it’s over the top.

  6. Report on Irish experience in March before schools were closed:
    No evidence of secondary transmission of COVID-19 from children attending school in Ireland, 2020
    “Three paediatric cases and three adult cases of COVID-19 with a history of school attendance were identified. The available epidemiological data for all of these cases indicated that they had not been infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the school setting. ”

    Four cases were linked to travel. One case was a close contact of a confirmed case in a recreational context, outside a school environment. One case was a contact of another case, and transmission occurred in a work environment.

    Same article: “A report on school-related transmission in New South Wales, Australia, examining the spread of SARS-CoV-2 from 18 confirmed cases (nine students and nine staff) from 15 schools identified only two potential cases of secondary school-based transmission, despite the identification of 863 close contacts [11].”

  7. just one small aspect. How long is it taking to get a test back?

    If you are a teacher – is this important?

  8. The copy editors that beat grammar into my head back when Jim and I were young reporters would have blanched at that headline and that claim. Always and never were banned words. To claim that no teacher has caught this from a student anywhere in the world is absurd on its face. And Nancy is right, with schools open it will happen more. We should still push to open schools.

    Larry, my wife is a teacher, my mother, maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather had been teachers, one of my uncles and his wife had teaching careers. I’ve been the one defending teachers countless times on this blog, for years and years. For the first time ever I am ashamed of their collective behavior. The grocery clerks and Fed Ex drivers put them to shame. I stand by my prediction that come November 4, with the right result, fears will quickly dissipate.

    • re: ” Larry, my wife is a teacher, my mother, maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather had been teachers, one of my uncles and his wife had teaching careers. I’ve been the one defending teachers countless times on this blog. For the first time ever I am ashamed of their collective behavior. The grocery clerks and Fed Ex drivers put them to shame.”

      I hear you. Are THEY ashamed?

      • Another absolutely disgusting comment by Larry.

      • Larry, my wife is more upset about their actions than I am. She will be bearing the brunt of course of educating my grandsons. The older folks are gone. RTD online story (probably in print tomorrow) indicates close to 90% of Henrico teachers actually did indicate a willingness to return to the classroom, so I limit my disdain to those who are panic stricken and the union organizers taking advantage. With that split, it would have been easy to tell the 10% – fine, you guys will run the online courses. If you have a vulnerable condition, we can accommodate you.

        • Thanks Steve. Yes James posted that RTD article and I concur – if 90% of teachers want to return – do it. Some schools are going to do it and the others are going to hold back and watch. Is that 90% also for high school? Amazing!

  9. Another interesting chart:

    source = google “Republicans remain far less likely to see COVID-19 as major threat to public health” “pew research”

    • No argument, I do not see it as the threat that you and Nancy Boy claim. Which is not to say I’m not doing my best to avoid getting it (but I’m definitely on the vulnerable list.)

  10. So I HAVE asked and did a little checking myself (about 5) and it’s mixed. Most want to go back but they concerned, not ashamed – actually taken aback by the vociferous nature of some public. They have to deal with the parents and some parents sound pretty militant these days.

    The politics of it are driving a “seat of the pants” type planning. “Planning” is all over the map and changing by the minute. Good teachers tend to be “ducks in a row” types. They like structure and certainty – it’s what they do for the kids so it’s part of who they are also.

    The politics are hate filled. Anthony S. Fauci, a scientist, is receiving death threats. Administrators have received threats… People are refusing to wear masks and what if their kids refuse to wear masks or just take them off all the time? Trying to ride herd or even smaller groups of 10 or 12 is a full time job under normal conditions.

    Some of the little darlings call others butt-holes, steal , and hit others. Others like to hug. Talk to an elementary teacher about how kids like hugs. One teacher I know, stands by her door in the morning and kids line up for hugs – even kids in other classes!

    Most all the ones I know have already been wearing masks even before they were mandated. They’re still not fully convinced that kids can’t get it nor spread it – lots of conflicting info.

    For instance, testing…. will there be testing available on a timely basis so that if COVID19 does show up – everyone can get tested and those infected identified and isolated. How will teachers that get infected be replaced?

    In short – most I have talked to want to return but they fear that planning is ad-hoc and changing…with no additional financial support for extra funding for staff and facilities – promises on testing when the news is talking about testing taking a week or longer – and by that time a whole school could be infected.

    To me, it sounds like some pretty legitimate concerns.

    • Yes, many of those are. When my wife gets wound up the other things she always says is, why have they done so little planning? It has been obvious since March that the fall semester was on its way and the virus would still be with us, but plenty of dithering is all you saw. (And for 30 years she ducked my usual response, uh, why don’t you go into management?) 🙂

      This is now a big giant mess.

  11. A large study out of South Korea, entitled emerging infectious diseases, evidences that children 10 and over do transmit the virus at the same rate as do infected adults. Hence, transmission from a student to a teacher or to a family member would seem to be very likely.

    • it looks like the daycare-age kids can do it safely. Not at all sure the middle and high can. The thing about the pandemic is it’s going to spread any/all ways it can – and we are largely ignorant about how it actually does spread.

      We’re still learning but we are so frustrated we’re willing to risk it. That’s how we “re-opened” and then the virus re-ignited.

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