AUSTIN (KXAN) — If school started today, how many COVID-19 positive students or staff could possibly be in the same room with your child?
That’s exactly the question researchers at the University of Texas set out to answer when they created a recently revealed model along with the New York Times.
The model breaks down the estimate of how many infected people (staff and students) would show up for classes, based on current infection rates in every county.
Using data from the model, the New York Times says that if school had begun July 31, over 80% of Americans live in a county where at least one infected person would be expected to attend a school of 500 in the first week.
For Texas counties, here are the numbers of infected people as of August 3 that would be expected to show up for classes based on infection rates and schools of 500.
- Travis County — 3 people would be expected to arrive while infected
- Harris County — 5 people
- Dallas County — 5 people
- Tarrant County – 4 people
- El Paso County – 5 people
- Bexar County — 8 people
The Texas county with the most number of infected who would be expected to arrive is Calhoun County, near the Gulf Coast, with 20 people.
It’s important to note that the numbers in the model assume that children will be less likely to carry and transmit COVID-19, as experts are still determining the rate at which they do.
Lauren Ancel Meyers, a UT Austin epidemiologist who led the research team, told the New York Times: “It’s meant to guide schools so they can anticipate when it might be safe, or easier, to open and bring kids in.”