Collecting School-level COVID-19 Case Data Through a National Survey
Yun Kim, MPH, Statistician, ICF
Ronaldo Iachan, PhD, Senior Fellow, ICF
The National School COVID-19 Prevention Study (NSCPS) invited a nationally representative and longitudinal sample of public schools to assess the mitigation actions taken in the schools and the COVID-19 infection among students. A stratified random sample of 1,600 schools was selected and invited to participate in four survey waves from October 2021–May 2022. The survey data were weighted through non-response analysis and post-stratification. The surveys, given to school administrators, assessed COVID-19 prevention strategies (e.g., ventilation, distancing) and school-level COVID-19 cases. To identify the school-level mitigation strategies that have the most impact on COVID-19 rates, we developed a multilevel model that evaluates the association between each prevention strategy and school-level incidence, controlling for relevant covariates including community-level incidence and vaccination rates. As the multivariate multilevel models did not find significant associations, we also investigated potential selection biases. Specifically, we examined associations between providing data on COVID-19 cases (i.e., case counts) and implementation of 12 prevention strategies. This analysis examined the potential for selection bias, as only a subset of schools tested their students to obtain case data and allowed for bias adjustments. The percentage of schools reporting school-level COVID-19 cases in the survey ranged from 39% (April-May 2022) to 68% (October-November 2021). Schools that reported opening doors and windows (74% vs. 63%, p=.044, October-November 2021), contact tracing (53% vs. 38%, p=.002, February-March 2022), and offering diagnostic testing (44% vs. 34%, p=.048, April-May 2022) were more likely to self-report school-level cases in the survey than schools that did not report each respective strategy. For more information on the National School COVID-19 Prevention Study see Pampati et al. (2022) and Spencer et al. (2022).
Spencer, P., Timpe, Z., Verlenden, J., Rasberry, C. N., Moore, S., Yeargin-Allsopp, M., Claussen, A. H., Lee, S., Murray, C., Tripathi, T., Conklin, S., Iachan, R., McConnell, L., Deng, X., & Pampati, S. (2023). Challenges experienced by U.S. K-12 public schools in serving students with special education needs or underlying health conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic and strategies for improved accessibility. Disability and health journal, 16(2), 101428. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2022.101428
Pampati, S., Rasberry, C. N., Timpe, Z., McConnell, L., Moore, S., Spencer, P., Lee, S., Murray, C. C., Adkins, S. H., Conklin, S., Deng, X., Iachan, R., Tripathi, T., & Barrios, L. C. (2023). Disparities in Implementing COVID-19 Prevention Strategies in Public Schools, United States, 2021-22 School Year. Emerging infectious diseases, 29(5), 937–944. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2905.221533