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Comparison of COVID-19 Incidence Rates Before and After School Reopening in Israel

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

Schools reopened in Israel on September 1, 2020, following summer vacation during active SARS-CoV-2 spread when the incidence of new cases of COVID-19 in Israel was one of the highest in the world. During September 2020, COVID-19 cases further surged in Israel, resulting in school closure (September 14), and a countrywide lockdown. Schools were reopened on November 1. We examined the dynamics in infection rates in children and youths aged 0 to 19 years compared with other age groups, with the goal of understanding whether school reopening was associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in those aged 0 to 9 years.

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Article Information

Accepted for Publication: March 1, 2021.

Published: April 26, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.7105

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2021 Somekh I et al. JAMA Network Open.

Corresponding Author: Eli Somekh, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Mayanei Hayeshuah Medical Center, 17 Povarski St, Bnei Brak, Israel (esomekh@gmail.com).

Author Contributions: Drs I. Somekh and E. Somekh had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: I. Somekh, Simões, E. Somekh.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.

Drafting of the manuscript: I. Somekh, Keinan Boker, Simões, E. Somekh.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: I. Somekh, Shohat, Pettoello-Mantovani, Simões, E. Somekh.

Statistical analysis: I. Somekh, Simões, E. Somekh.

Obtained funding: I. Somekh.

Administrative, technical, or material support: I. Somekh.

Supervision: Keinan Boker, Pettoello-Mantovani, E. Somekh.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Simões reported receiving grants, personal fees and travel reimbursement from Astra Zeneca Inc; grants, personal fees, and travel reimbursement from Merck & Co; grants, personal fees, and travel reimbursement from from Regeneron Inc; grants, personal fees, and travel reimbursement from Pfizer Inc, personal fees, and travel reimbursement from Abbvie Inc; personal fees from Alere Inc; grants, personal fees, and travel reimbursement from Roche Inc; served on the Data and Safety Monitoring Board for GlaxoSmithKline Inc; grants from Johnson & Johnson; grants and travel reimbursement from Novavax Inc, outside the submitted work.

Funding/Support: This research was supported by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Israel (grant number 3-16983).

Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funder had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

References
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Ministry of Health. Corona national campaign information and knowledge center. Accessed March 20, 2021. https://www.gov.il/he/departments/corona-national-information-and-knowledge-center
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Ministry of Health. COVID-19 reservoir. Accessed March 20, 2021. https://data.gov.il/dataset/covid-19
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Somekh  I , Shohat  T , Boker  LK , Simões  EAF , Somekh  E .  Reopening schools and the dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Israel: a nationwide study.   Clin Infect Dis. January 2021:ciab035. doi:10.1093/cid/ciab035Google Scholar
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O’Leary  ST .  To spread or not to spread SARS-CoV-2—is that the question?   JAMA Pediatr. Published online January 22, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.0006PubMedGoogle Scholar
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Tönshoff  B , Müller  B , Elling  R ,  et al.  Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and their parents in southwest Germany.   JAMA Pediatr. Published online January 22, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.0001PubMedGoogle Scholar
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