Estimating aerosol transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2 in New York City public schools during reopening.

Environmental Research
Brian PavilonisElizabeth A Kelvin


The objective of this study was to estimate the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission among students and teachers in New York City public schools, the largest school system in the US. Classroom measurements conducted from December 2017 to September 2018 were used to estimate risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission using a modified Wells-Riley equation under a steady-state conditions and varying exposure scenarios (infectious student versus teacher, susceptible student versus teacher, with and without masks). We then used multivariable linear regression with GEE to identify school and classroom factors that impact transmission risk. Overall, 101 classrooms in 19 schools were assessed, 86 during the heating season, 69 during cooling season, and 54 during both. The mean probability of transmission was generally low but varied by scenario (range: 0.0015-0.81). Transmission rates were higher during the heating season (beta=0.108, p=0.010), in schools in higher income neighborhoods (>80K versus 20K-40K beta=0.196, p<0.001) and newer buildings (<50 years beta=0.237, p=<0.001; 50-99 years beta=0.230, p=0.013 versus 100+ years) and lower in schools with mechanical ventilation (beta=0.141, p=0.057). Surprisingly, schools located in older buildings and...Continue Reading


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