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Teachers Not at Increased Risk for Hospital Admission for COVID-19

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THURSDAY, Sept. 2, 2021 -- Teachers and their household members are not at increased risk for hospital admission with COVID-19 and may have a reduced risk for severe COVID-19, according to a study published online Sept. 1 in The BMJ.

Lynda Fenton, M.B.Ch.B., from Public Health Scotland in Glasgow, and colleagues examined the risk for hospital admission with COVID-19 and for severe COVID-19 among teachers and their household members in Scotland. Participants included 132,420 COVID-19 cases in adults aged 21 to 65 years and a random sample of matched controls (1,306,566 participants).

Most teachers were young (mean age, 42 years), women (80 percent), and had no comorbidities (84 percent). The researchers found that for all adults of working age in the general population, the cumulative incidence of COVID-19 was <1 percent. During the study period, in adjusted models, teachers had a lower risk for hospital admission with COVID-19 and for severe COVID-19 compared with the general population (rate ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 0.77 [0.64 to 0.92] and 0.56 [0.33 to 0.97], respectively). When schools in Scotland reopened in autumn 2020, the rate ratios for hospital admission in teachers and for severe COVID-19 were 1.20 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.89 to 1.61) and 0.45 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.13 to 1.55), respectively. The corresponding findings for teachers' household members were 0.91 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.67 to 1.23) and 0.73 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.37 to 1.44). Similar risks were seen for teachers when schools reopened in summer 2021.

"These findings should reassure most adults engaged in in-person teaching," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Posted September 2021

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