Full Version: Los Angeles County school infection rate last year
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Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Schools and in the Community — Los Angeles County, California, September 2020–March 2021"

The CDC has posted the above document that reports on cases in L.A. schools last school year (September 2020 - Mar 2021), which they acknowledge is pre-Beta.

Although the authors, members of LA County Dept. of Public Health and LA County Office of Education claim no conflicts of interest, to me this is the same as if employees of, say, Delta Airlines reported it was safe to fly.  Their organization's financial situation depends upon student attendance.

Four numbers are provided for each of the 7 months:  
  • Adult case rate in the county
  • School staff member rate in the county
  • Children/adolescent rate in the county
  • At-school rate for children/adolescents
The numbers look pretty good for the schools -- the rate of cases reported to the schools is less than the case rate in the community.
"In schools with safety protocols in place for prevention and containment, case rates in children and adolescents were 3.4 times lower during the winter peak compared with rates in the community."

The issue I wonder about is that there is no independent validation of the true case rate for students or the community.  If only one out of three cases are reported in the community, and one out of ten cases are reported to the schools,  that would cause different stats.   In the footnotes is "Schools relied on staff members, students, parents and guardians, and testing programs where available to inform them of cases "  (for the 2nd and 4th set of stats above) 

If you think about it, it is hard to come up with a rationale why those kids that happen to be mingling at school would have a lower case rate than those that are at home with their own families during their at-home schooling. It is a lot easier to imagine why a parent might not report to the school that their child had COVID ("You mean I have to keep him home for 10 days??!!") Personally, I would credit that as the reason for the difference in reports of in-school vs not-in-school numbers for (at least) the kids.

I also have a quibble about the year-end holiday.  I would argue that the school numbers in December and January are likely lower than they should be.

At some point, I expect California to report case rates for unvaccinated school staff under the current rules that require periodic testing for  the unvaccinated.  When they come out, I would expect them to be higher than community rates since they should be detecting almost all the cases of that group.  Of course, how the state will couch it is that the unvaccinated case rate is way higher than the vaccinated case rate (where the latter group are not being periodically checked).

If you believe these stats, then we should never have sheltered at home. We should have gone to schools in groups of 20-30, each from a different household. We would have had half the infection rate!