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Graduating seniors on July 17 in Jefferson Township, Pennsylvania. Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Children between the ages of 10 and 19 can spread the coronavirus at least as effectively as adults do, according to a recently published study out of South Korea.

Why it matters: The findings come amid a heated global debate on reopening schools as the coronavirus pandemic wears on. Experts warn that if schools resume this fall, communities could see clusters of the infection emerge that include children of all ages, citing the study findings.

How it works: South Korean researchers identified 5,706 people who first reported coronavirus symptoms in their households between Jan. 20 and March 27, when schools in the country were closed, according to the New York Times.

  • They traced 59,073 contacts from the original cases.

The researchers found that children in middle and high school were just as likely to infect others as adults.

  • Children younger than 10 years old were around half as likely as adults to spread the virus.

Yes, but: Researchers only traced children who felt sick. The transmission rates for asymptomatic cases remains unknown, and children are less likely than adults to develop symptoms.

The big picture: Several major schools systems in the U.S. have postponed in-person classes for the fall, including in Los Angeles, San Diego and New York City.

  • 71% of U.S. parents surveyed in a recent Axios-Ipsos poll said it would be risky to send their children back to school in the fall, including a slim majority of Republicans and a staggering nine in 10 Black Americans, Axios' Margaret Talev reports.

Read the study.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 9, 2020 - Health

23 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

23 states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project (CTP) and state health departments. 15 states surpassed records from the previous week.

Why it matters: More states across the country are handling record-high caseloads than this summer.

Updated Jan 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Oct 26, 2020 - Health

The swing states where the pandemic is raging

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, The Cook Political Report; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Several states that are likely to decide which party controls Washington next year have exceptionally large coronavirus outbreaks or are seeing cases spike.

Why it matters: Most voters have already made up their minds. But for those few holdouts, the state of the pandemic could ultimately help them make a decision as they head to the polls — and that's not likely to help President Trump.

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