The surprising thing is just how robust that finding is in the face of some fairly plausible variants, said A. David Paltiel, a professor of health policy and management at Yale School of Public Health, who wasn’t involved in the analysis.

Course Disrupted

Updated April 22, 2021

The latest on how the pandemic is reshaping education.

However, he noted, there were plenty of scenarios the version didnt test, and the paper still should undergo a thorough peer review.

Its predictions must also be tested in real life, Dr. O’Connor said: “It needs to be researched and analyzed head-to-head with other allocation methods. ”

However, if the findings hold up, it would suggest that schools and other institutions which are trying to reopen safely should think beyond their own walls when they develop testing applications. Even if your objective is just to protect the pupils in your care, you will still be doing the maximum to protect those pupils by taking care of the people in the surrounding community, Dr. Paltiel said. “That’s a fairly strong argument. ”

Some universities are beginning to adopt this outlook. C.M.U. now offers free tests to all of its students ’ self-reported contacts, whether or not they are affiliated with the university, also runs a testing site that is open to local residents, said Amy Bronson, a co-chair of the university’s Covid-19 task force and an author of this paper.

And in November, the University of California, Davis, started offering free coronavirus evaluations to anyone who works or lives in the city. The Healthy Davis Collectively program, a partnership with the city, has since administered over 450,000 tests and identified over 1,000 people with the virus,” said Brad Pollock, an epidemiologist at U.C. Davis who directs the project.

A virus does not respect geographic boundaries, Dr. Pollock said. “ It is ludicrous to believe you could get control of an acute infectious respiratory disease like Covid-19, in a town like Davis that hosts a huge university, without coordinated public health measures that connect both the university and the community. ”