A major study today revealed that teachers are no more likely to die from Covid than other workers.
Researchers at the University of Bristol found that school staff – including teachers and school assistants – under the age of 64 were less likely to die from the virus than people in other jobs.
Mortality rates among female teachers were lower than the five-year average in the first nine months of the epidemic, while deaths among male teachers were similar to the number expected, according to the researchers.
However, there were “significant mortality excesses” among those over the age of 65 who work in schools. They found that only a third of the additional death certificates cited Covid as the cause, suggesting other factors led to the deaths.
Experts said the study, published in the journal BMJ Open, should be considered by governments when deciding whether to close schools in future pandemics caused by coronavirus.
“It would be important to note that employees were not at significantly higher risk of death compared to other occupations,” the team added.
Schools have been closed for several months at a time after Covid hit the UK last March, forcing students to learn remotely and cancel their exams.
But children of key workers – such as health and social care workers on the front lines – and vulnerable pupils were allowed to attend school as normal.
Even once schools reopen, rules that force students to isolate whether they test positive or have been in contact with an infected person has resulted in more than a million students missing classes over the summer.
Some teachers complained that they were at risk from the virus and wanted to close schools before the government asked them to.
But a series of studies and real-world data have shown that teachers are no more likely to test positive, suffer severe infection, or be hospitalized from Covid.
A major study today revealed that teachers are no more likely to die from Covid than other workers. Pictured: A teacher in class during the COVID pandemic
The graph shows the Covid death rate per 100,000 men working in schools during the first nine months of the pandemic. Death rates from the virus among parameters were 10 per 100,000, compared to a range of 9 to 50 per 100,000 for other occupations
The graph shows the COVID death rate per 100,000 women working in schools during the first nine months of the pandemic. Deaths from coronavirus among secondary school teachers were 39 per 100,000, compared with a range of 10 to 143 per 100,000 in other professions.
Study suggests social distancing is useless without a mask
A study suggested that the two-metre rule still followed by four in ten Britons today may only work if you wear a mask.
University of Cambridge researchers have found that a person without a mask with Covid can still infect others at that distance even when outdoors.
The two-meter social distancing rule imposed by the UK government in March 2020 during the first lockdown, but Britons were not encouraged to wear masks until May.
Experts and the government initially said masks could ‘do more harm than good’ before the policy was rolled back, making it mandatory on public transport in June and then in stores and public places the following month.
The two-meter rule was shortened to one meter in July as part of the easing of restrictions on the spread of the epidemic.
The team said their findings highlight the continued importance of getting Covid vaccines, airing indoor spaces, and wearing masks as the country approaches the winter months.
The Bristol team analyzed death data for working adults aged 20 to 64 – published by the Office for National Statistics – between March 8 and December 28 last year.
They wanted to calculate the risk of death from Covid among teachers – many of whom have continued to work in person throughout the lockdowns – compared to other professions.
The researchers found that Covid death rates among school workers were low compared to “many other occupations”.
Inter-sector mortality rates ranged from 10 per 100,000 primary teachers to 39 per 100,000 secondary teachers.
For comparison, rates among other occupations — which the team didn’t name — were between 9 and 50 per 100,000 women and 10 and 143 per 100,000 men.
Mortality rates among female teachers in the first nine months of the epidemic were lower than the five-year average, while mortality among male teachers was similar to the five-year average.
The researchers found that there were more deaths among teaching assistants than expected, but noted uncertainty about this data.
However, among school staff aged over 65, the team found, “there were significant excesses in deaths compared to the previous five-year average.”
Only a third of the additional deaths were recorded as a cause of death, the researchers said.
The study suggests that the remaining additional deaths may have been due to delayed treatment of other conditions due to the epidemic.
The researchers said death rates may also have been higher among older employees because they have moved away from the health service during the pandemic due to fears of contracting the virus or overburdening the NHS.
Professor Sarah Lewis, the university’s molecular epidemiologist and lead author of the study said: ‘Our research found that teachers, teaching assistants and lunchtime assistants, aged 20 to 64, were not at risk of dying from Covid during the pandemic in 2020 compared to the working-age population. in England and Wales.
There was weak evidence that the risk of death from Covid for secondary school teachers was slightly higher than expected but overall, the risk of death from Covid for school staff and across all occupations was proportional to the risk of death from non-Covid.