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Covid: closing Swiss schools one of most effective measures, says study

Summary:
The number of Covid cases went down significantly in Switzerland during spring as a result of schools closing, according to a study by ETH Zurich, reported RTS. School closed ©Andrey Zhuravlev -Dreamstime.com - Click to enlarge Researchers at the university analysed anonymised mobile phone data of 1.5 billion movements of the Swiss population between 10 February and 26 April 2020. They used this data to calculate how much certain measures reduced mobility and contact. Their analysis revealed that closing schools in mid-March reduced mobility by 21.6%, making it one of the most effective measures for reducing human contact and the chance of spread. Closing schools was just behind closing restaurants, bars and shops (-22.3%) and banning gatherings of more than 5

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The number of Covid cases went down significantly in Switzerland during spring as a result of schools closing, according to a study by ETH Zurich, reported RTS.

School closed

School closed ©Andrey Zhuravlev -Dreamstime.com - Click to enlarge

Researchers at the university analysed anonymised mobile phone data of 1.5 billion movements of the Swiss population between 10 February and 26 April 2020. They used this data to calculate how much certain measures reduced mobility and contact.

Their analysis revealed that closing schools in mid-March reduced mobility by 21.6%, making it one of the most effective measures for reducing human contact and the chance of spread. Closing schools was just behind closing restaurants, bars and shops (-22.3%) and banning gatherings of more than 5 people (-24.9%), the top two measures.

With schools closed, more parents stayed at home. This affected mobility and reduced the number of coronavirus infections, said Stefan Feuerriegel, a professor of computer science at ETHZ who directed the study.

On Wednesday, 13 January 2021, Switzerland’s Federal Council will announce whether it will add to measures to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. One question is whether it will instruct the cantons to close schools.


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