The pediatric population does not play a large role in the spread of COVID-19 in schools, a new study finds.

According to researchers in Israel, children 10–19 years old had a three-fold higher risk of acquiring the coronavirus after returning to school than when they still were at home.

“It appears that young children 0–9 have shown not only in this study but observationally over the last year of the pandemic that this group has little to do with spread of COVID,” Theodore Strange, MD, interim chair of medicine at Staten Island University Hospital in New York, told Healthline.

Schools in Israel opened as usual in September of 2020, despite the COVID-19 outbreak. However, they closed in the middle of the month following a massive COVID-19 outbreak, only to reopen again in November.

Researchers then began analyzing infection rate data from the last week of August until December. They compared incidence rate ratios (IRR) with the COVID-19 test positivity rate (TPR) throughout lockdown and disease outbreaks.

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