Notes to Know: COVID-19: Schools, Long-Term Effects & European Comparison

"If I'd have had more time, I'd have written a shorter letter" ~Blaise Pascal

This week’s note is excerpted from the World Clinic blog (with the original article found here). The World Clinic’s founders are pioneers in the Concierge Medicine field, having delivered virtual emergency room and remote healthcare services since 1998. Their Chief Medical Officer, Dr. William Lang, has served as the Director of the White House Medical Unit, Associate Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Homeland Security, and is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on preparedness planning strategies for pandemic and bioterror response. His work is a “go-to” resource for us here at Cascade in attempting to determine facts vs headlines.

Europe’s seven-day moving average of reported new cases has doubled in its five largest countries. Most associate the increased number of cases with young people and families returning to their pre-COVID lifestyle. People are beginning to travel more and attend social events. Even though Europe is clamping down on high-risk events, it is likely that it will take a couple of months to see a drop in cases as people recognize the risks of certain activities.

As the seasons change and cooler autumn weather arrive, people will be gravitating towards indoor events and activities, which will likely increase the spread of COVID-19.

It is important to point out that the new outbreaks have not shown congruent increases in hospitalizations and death rates. The new demographic of infection is much younger than what we have seen previously. Statistically, the younger groups were at a much lower risk for COVID-19.

Even with the surge, levels of infections remain lower in Europe compared to the U.S. It should also be noted that the U.S. is now mostly in a downward trend and Europe is trending upward.

Schools may be the leading cause for the resurgence in the U.S. It has been proven that this rise has nothing to do with education and more to do with the actions of the people. In cases of 18-22-year-olds, the outbreaks have been linked to the typical social events that kick off the new school year.

Most of these events have large numbers of people in confined areas, with limited social distancing, which is prime for exposure and spread of COVID-19. Students are using precautions and social distancing while on campus and in classes. However, outside of campus, students are continuing with social gatherings, sports, and back-to-school parties.

It is much easier to control the environment for middle school and elementary school students due to the controlled environment of the classroom. We face similar challenges with high school students as we do with college students. They do not have as much autonomy as college students, but they are similarly socializing after school, increasing their risk of exposure.

There is no one answer for how to handle any of this. It is up to the local school districts to provide appropriate social distancing while at school or offer alternative hybrid models for learning.

One of the biggest hurdles faced with COVID-19 is testing for active infections. Recently, Yale received an FDA Emergency Use Authorization for a saliva-based test for active infections. This is a game-changer in the realm of testing! This test is “much simpler, less expensive, less invasive” than the current swab tests being administered. Yale is hopeful to roll out this test across the country within the next month. The test costs around $10, with a same-day or next-day turnaround time. Additionally, the Lateral Flow Cytometry test should be approved within the next few weeks. This test is an even cheaper, faster testing method for COVID-19. This test is available for a couple of dollars and will not require highly trained technicians to complete the processing.

All in all, testing will not stop the spread of COVID-19 but having access to faster results can give us an upper hand. Rapid testing can expedite contact tracing and the need for quarantine, thus cutting the rate of exposure and infection dramatically.

Make it a great day!

The information contained within is the view and opinion of the author as of the date it was written, and not necessarily of Cascade Financial Management, Inc. Such views are subject to change without notice. Cascade has no duty or obligation to update the information contained herein.

This is for educational purposes only and should not be used for any other purpose. It is not intended as planning or tax advice for any individual or entity. It does not constitute and should not be construed as an offering of advice or an offer to sell, or a solicitation to buy any services or related financial instruments or advice of any kind. Your tax and financial situation are unique and you should not take any action or make any investment decision without first discussing your particular situation with your CPA, tax, or legal advisor.

Certain information contained herein concerning economic trends and performance is based on or derived from information provided by independent third-party sources. Cascade believes the sources from where this information has been obtained are reliable, however, it cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information and has not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of such information or the assumptions on which such information is based.

Any distribution, use, or copying of this information by anyone other than the intended recipient is unauthorized.

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