Friday, January 08, 2021

No, the kids are not alright

As it is announced that Ontario (or at least southern Ontario) is to keep in-class school learning closed for at least another two weeks, I have finally, after all this time, seen a breakdown of Ontario's COVID-19 positivity rates by age group.

And it is as I had suspected and feared: the highest rates, by a long chalk, are among teens and younger. 12-13 year olds are the worst with a 20% positivity rate, followed by 4-11 year olds (16%), and 14-17 year olds (14%). Even 2-3 year olds have a positivity rate of 9%, similar to the rate for 18-22 year olds, and 23-29 year olds are not far behind (8%). Thereafter, as the age groups increase, the positivity rates fall, until all the over-50 age ranges have relatively moderate rates of around 5-6%. All of the positivity rates are increasing week by week, and those of the teenagers and younger kids are increasing fast, doubling weekly in the case of 12-13 year olds.

So, it is mainly kids that are spreading this thing, even if they are not showing many symptoms. They should have been testing schoolkids regularly and often since September (then we might not be in this situation now). I am very glad that Ontario at least has seen sense and is keeping kids home from school (Quebec, on the other hand, has gone the other direction on this). And all those people who are kvetching that kids are "special", and it is imperative that they be allowed to attend school in person, will hopefully see that there is a bigger picture here.


And now, finally, there is scientific evidence that keeping kids home from school significantly reduces the community spread of the virus (along with banning gatherings of more than five people, and closing bars and restaurants). I rest my case.

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