Data Suggest Little Difference in COVID Rates Between Remote, In-Person and Hybrid Instruction


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According to Department of Education data, public school students in Connecticut are nearly as likely to test positive for COVID-19 if they study remotely, as students learning in person or in a hybrid model.

In-person students made up for 29 percent of total students across the state as well as 29 percent of reported student cases, meaning they did not make up for a disproportionate number of confirmed COVID-19 infections.

The state has reported just over 7,000 positive cases among students since the start of the school year. 

Students in hybrid learning models were slightly more likely to report COVID-19 cases than those in other subgroups, with 2,891 cases reported out of 190,000 students, or 1.5 percent. Students learning in-person reported 2,094 COVID-19 cases, or 1.4 percent of 145,000 students. Remote students reported 2,019 cases, or 1.2 percent of 164,000 students.

The data tracks with research finding relatively that in-person schooling has not been a major factor in the spread of COVID-19. One study from Spain found that while different school districts made different decisions about reopening, there was no increase in cases correlated with in-person schooling. Another report looking at six months of data from 191 countries also found no correlation between schools being open and COVID-19 cases rising. 

In Connecticut, the data is imperfect, because averaging the number of students in each learning environment obscures the ever-moving reopening and closing of schools across the state.

This story has been updated for clarity