Public Health England and Imperial College COVID-19 transmission in schools study

27 Apr 2021


PHE and Imperial College have been undertaking a study to measure transmission of Covid-19 since October 2020 in London schools and nurseries in the TraCK (Transmission of Coronavirus in Kids) study.

Based on results so far, children and young people appear unlikely to act as a source of infection in schools, compared with the home. This is very different to infections like scarlet fever or measles. The first part of the study was conducted during periods of reduced school attendance in London. Extensive measures put in place by schools have resulted in many common infections disappearing.

Further study

As almost all pupils have returned to school, PHE and Imperial College now need to continue the study into the summer term and are looking for schools to participate.

For pupils who consent and have tested positive for Covid-19, the study will involve weekly throat and nostril swabs, a cheek swab, and use of a highly sensitive PCR test over a three-week period.

The study will also involve surface swab testing of classroom items and air sampling for traces of Covid-19.

Participating schools will be paid for their time and the study has full ethical approval from an independent national Research Ethics Committee. The study has been peer-reviewed and funded by the UKRI.

Further information

For further information and details of how to take part see fact sheet below.

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Last updated: 27 Apr 2021

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