Do the Benefits of School Closure Outweigh Its Costs?

Change log
Raffetti, Elena 
Di Baldassarre, Giuliano  ORCID logo

School closure has been a common response to COVID-19. Yet, its implementation has hardly ever been based on rigorous analysis of its costs and benefits. We aim to first illustrate the unintended consequences and side effects of school closure, and then discuss the policy and research implications. This commentary frames evidence from the most recent papers on the topic from a public-health epidemiology and disaster risk reduction perspective. In particular, we argue that the benefits of school closure in terms of reduced infection rates should be better compared with its costs in terms of both short- and long-term damage on the physical, mental, and social well-being of children and society at large.

COVID-19 pandemic, school closure, benefit-risk tradeoff, confirmation bias, precautionary principle
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European Research Council (771678)