Social impacts of COVID-19 policies on K-12

Hiroyuki Kasahara, Paul Schrimpf, and Victor Chernozhukov

We examine how the opening of K-12 schools and colleges is associated with the spread of COVID-19 using county-level panel data in the United States. Using SafeGraph data on foot traffic and K-12 school opening plans, Hiroyuki and his team analyze how an increase in visits to schools and opening schools with different teaching methods (in-person, hybrid, and remote) is related to the 2-weeks forward growth rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases. As a sneak peek, the findings show that the positive association of K-12 school visits, or in-person school openings, with case growth is stronger for counties that do not require staff to wear masks at schools.

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