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The sudden closure of kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) schools nationwide this spring likely helped to avert a medical catastrophe from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This decisive step, however, is casting a long shadow. By the time the school year ends in June, more than 55 million US children will have missed months of in-class instruction.1 The educational effect to date represents only one dimension of the harm to children.
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Corresponding Author: Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N Wolfe St, Room W1033F, Baltimore, MD 21209 (Joshua.Sharfstein@jhu.edu).
Published Online: June 1, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.10175
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.
Additional Contributions: We acknowledge the research assistance of Trevor Wrobleski, BA, and the comments of Megan Collins, MD, MPH, and Anita Cicero, JD. They did not receive compensation.
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