Covid infections could skyrocket by 1,141 percent with school reopenings

school reopening
Photo: Cafugo Films/Shutterstock

Without strict health protocols, the return of in-person classes in Brazilian public schools could cause a new surge in coronavirus infections nationwide. A study conducted by ModCovid19, a group of researchers from multiple universities, estimates the possible impact at 1,141 percent.

New daily case numbers are falling after reaching their peak one month ago. However, the seven-day average of new infections jumped from 37,746 to 47,065 in the past week. Experts credit this to the arrival of the highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant.

Prescribed safety protocols include the use of facemasks, social distancing, and monitoring potential infections. If all measures are adhered to, the bump in the number of Covid-19 cases is estimated at 10 percent. 

“We’re no longer discussing whether it is safe to resume in-person classes, instead [we are discussing] how to do it properly,” the researchers explain. The return to so-called “hybrid classes” — with one half of students attending in person, with the remainder joining at a distance — is still far from being a consensus among education experts. Efficient health protocols become even more crucial considering that 12 to 18 year-olds will only begin receiving coronavirus vaccines once the entire adult population has received one shot.