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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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Long COVID—the new “invisible” illness: how school nurses can support the nursing and educational teams for student success

AUTHOR(S)
Megan Roesler; Patricia Fato; Barbara Obst

Published: December 2021   Journal: NASN School Nurse
School-age children are not immune to COVID-19 or the pronounced and persistent symptoms associated with a long-COVID diagnosis. Students may present with a variety of symptoms affecting their physical, cognitive, and mental health. The school community should be educated on the school-based interventions and recommendations for creating an individualized safe and successful return to school plan. As we await approval for vaccinations in school-age children younger than 12 years and continue to reposition ourselves to the waves of this pandemic and new variants of the virus, understanding the medical and educational long-term effects on our students may be a long-term need.
Prospective pilot study evaluating SARS-CoV-2 transmission-limiting measures in an on-site school

AUTHOR(S)
Shilpa G. Jani; Jasmin Ma; Uma Pulendran (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Academic Pediatrics

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and reliability of a comprehensive set of preventive measures in limiting secondary transmission of COVID-19 in schools. A prospective cohort study was conducted to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 transmission in an independent K-8 school in San Mateo County, California. The research was conducted between September 14, 2020 through March 22, 2021 and consisted of: (1) demographic and epidemiological questionnaires; (2) daily symptom reporting; (3) weekly RT-PCR testing; and (4) periodic on-site qualitative observations.

A rural school’s adaptations, improvements, and innovations during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kristen C. Wilcox

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership
COVID-19 prompted unprecedented disruptions to schools with challenges particularly severe for high-poverty remote rural schools. This case study recounts the story of a rural school that had participated in a research–practice partnership (RPP) multi-year improvement effort prior to the pandemic and documents the ways the RPP and the school-based improvement team worked to navigate pandemic-related disruptions. This case study provides educational leaders with insights into ways to surmount challenges and innovate especially during times of significant disruption and provides prompts to consider with regard to the use of RPP support and improvement science-based processes and tools.
Is symptom screening useful for identifying COVID-19 infection in school settings? Georgia, USA

AUTHOR(S)
Megan Swanson; Marisa Hast; Eleanor Burnett (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: The Journal of School Nursing
This study’s goal was to characterize the utility of symptom screening in staff and students for COVID-19 identification and control of transmission in a school setting. It conducted a secondary analysis of cross-sectional data for staff, students and associated household members in a Georgia school district exposed to COVID-19 cases who received RT-PCR testing and symptom monitoring. Among positive contacts, 30/49 (61%) of students and 1/6 (17%) of staff reported no symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Symptom sensitivity was 30% in elementary students and 42% in middle/high students. Fifty-three percent (10/19) of symptomatic positive contacts had at least one household member test positive for SARS-CoV-2 compared with 50% (10/20) of asymptomatic positive contacts. The absence of symptoms in children is not indicative of a lack of SARS-CoV-2 infection or reduced risk of infection for associated household members. Testing all close contacts of people with COVID-19 in schools is needed to interrupt transmission networks.
"Public health and social measures' considerations for educational authorities: schooling in the time of COVID-19: Considerations for health and educational authorities on the public health and social measures to reopen schools as safely as possible"

AUTHOR(S)
Kalpana Vincent; Viviane Bianco; Sarah Fuller (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021

The return to face-to-face learning helps children return to a sense of normality, although different normality as prevention and control measures have likely altered school and classroom routines. It is important that schools should have a risk-mitigation strategy in place. Countries should ensure these strategies carefully balance the likely benefits for, and harms to, younger and older age groups of children when making decisions about implementing infection prevention and control measures. Any measure needs to be balanced with the even worse alternative of schools being closed and Any measure introduced by schools should follow standard protocols for implementation. This publication shares more detailed considerations for health and educational authorities on the public health and social measures to reopen schools as safely as possible.

Schooling in the time of COVID-19, a resource pack produced by UNICEF ECARO and WHO Europe
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021

Schools are essential for children’s learning, health, safety and well-being. But students’ learning suffered a major setback when most educational institutions reduced or cancelled in-person instruction and moved to remote learning and teaching to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Prolonged school closures continue to jeopardise the future of millions of children across the globe. The Europe and Central Asia Region is no exception. Schools should be the first to open and last to close. Getting children back in the classroom remains a priority for UNICEF and WHO Regional Offices, striking a balance between applying public health and social measures and ensuring that children are able to continue learning and socializing to the greatest extent possible. UNICEF and WHO have created several tools and resources to support countries in their back-to-school efforts. This joint UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (UNICEF/ ECARO) and WHO Regional Office for Europe Schooling Resource Pack has an easy-to-find compilation of materials to help parents/caregivers, teachers and students return to school safely.

Pooled RT-qPCR testing for SARS-CoV-2 surveillance in schools - a cluster randomised trial

AUTHOR(S)
Alexander Joachim; Felix Dewald; Isabelle Suárez (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: EClinicalMedicine

The extent to which children and adolescents contribute to SARS-CoV-2 transmission remains not fully understood. Novel high-capacity testing methods may provide real-time epidemiological data in educational settings helping to establish a rational approach to prevent and minimize SARS-CoV-2 transmission. This study investigated whether pooling of samples for SARS-CoV-2 detection by RT-qPCR is a sensitive and feasible high-capacity diagnostic strategy for surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 infections in schools. In this study, students and school staff of 14 educational facilities in Germany were tested sequentially between November 9 and December 23, 2020, two or three times per week for at least three consecutive weeks. Participants were randomized for evaluation of two different age adjusted swab sampling methods (oropharyngeal swabs or buccal swabs compared to saliva swabs using a ‘lolli method’).

Disinfectant use by K-12 school staff to combat SARS-CoV-2

AUTHOR(S)
Timothy J. Hilbert; Candace Brancato; Kelsey Carter (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: American Journal of Infection Control
K-12 school staff from Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio were asked about their use of disinfectants to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in schools. Survey participants (n=1,555) reported frequent use of disinfectants, often using unknown products, and were provided little to no training on safe and effective use. Participant concerns included student involvement in disinfection, inadequate ventilation, surface contact time, and potential health effects.
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from remote learning during COVID19

The COVID-19 pandemic led to school closures around the world, affecting almost 1.6 billion students. The effects of even short disruptions in a child’s schooling on their learning and well-being have been shown to be acute and long lasting. The capacities of education systems to respond to the crisis by delivering remote learning and support to children and families have been diverse yet uneven.

This report reviews the emerging evidence on remote learning throughout the global school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic to help guide decision-makers to build more effective, sustainable, and resilient education systems for current and future crises.

Family–school partnerships in the age of Covid-19: reasons for optimism amidst a global pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Chris Jones; Colin Forster

Published: May 2021   Journal: Contemporary Issues in Practitioner Education
This article reports on research undertaken in May and June 2020, during the initial phase of the Covid-19 pandemic when schools in England were still closed to the majority of children. The research sought to explore the impact of the so-called ‘lockdown’ on family–school partnerships. Research shows such partnerships make an important contribution to the effective education of children and young people, potentially leading to improved behaviour, engagement and learning outcomes. The study was conducted as a short online survey, circulated through social media and email, which invited teachers, school leaders and others working in primary and secondary schools to share their experiences of family–school partnership during this time. Analysis of the data showed that schools had made considerable efforts to maintain communication and support for all families, particularly those deemed ‘hard-to-reach’, and many participants reported that family–school partnerships had actually been strengthened through this testing period of time.
Evaluation of the Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 infection in children: Implications for screening in a school setting

AUTHOR(S)
Neeraj Sood; Rashmi Shetgiri; Anna Rodriguez (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Plos One
Rapid antigen tests hold much promise for use in the school environment. However, the performance of these tests in non-clinical settings and among one of the main target populations in schools—asymptomatic children—is unclear. To address this gap, we examined the positive and negative concordance between the BinaxNOW™ rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen assay and an RT-PCR test among children at a community-based Covid-19 testing site.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 8 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, COVID-19, health services, infectious disease, schools | Countries: United States
COVID-19: are school counseling services ready? students' psychological symptoms, school counselors' Views, and solutions

AUTHOR(S)
Mehmet Akif Karaman; Hasan Esici; Ismail Hakkı Tomar (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effects of COVID-19 on high school students’ psychological symptoms and to understand how ready counselors and school counseling services are based on the data we have. Therefore, this research is designed under two different studies: (A) Study 1: Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on students’ psychological symptoms and (B) Study 2: Views and expectations of students and school counselors about school counseling services.
Lifting Barriers to Education During and After COVID-19: Improving education outcomes for migrant and refugee children in Latin America and the Caribbean

AUTHOR(S)
Kim Caarls; Victor Cebotari; Despina Karamperidou; Maria Carolina Alban Conto; Juliana Zapata; Rachel Yang Zhou

By the end of 2019, 4.8 million refugees and migrants had left Venezuela – making it the largest external displacement crisis in the region’s recent history. Of these, 1 in 4 was a child.

Across Latin America and the Caribbean, since November 2020, 137 million girls and boys are missing out on their education due to the prolonged closure of schools during COVID-19. The implications are troubling, especially for migrant and refugee children, for whom access to inclusive and equitable education remains a major challenge.

This study collates evidence from Latin America, the Caribbean and across the world to gain a better understanding of the multifaceted linkages between education and migration. It estimates gaps in educational outcomes; identifies structural barriers to education; and highlights promising practices to inform policy.

Lifting Barriers to Education During and After COVID-19: Improving education outcomes for migrant and refugee children in Latin America and the Caribbean

AUTHOR(S)
Kim Caarls; Victor Cebotari; Despina Karamperidou; Maria Carolina Alban Conto; Juliana Zapata; Rachel Yang Zhou

By the end of 2019, 4.8 million refugees and migrants had left Venezuela – making it the largest external displacement crisis in the region’s recent history. Of these, 1 in 4 was a child.

Across Latin America and the Caribbean, since November 2020, 137 million girls and boys are missing out on their education due to the prolonged closure of schools during COVID-19. The implications are troubling, especially for migrant and refugee children, for whom access to inclusive and equitable education remains a major challenge.

This study collates evidence from Latin America, the Caribbean and across the world to gain a better understanding of the multifaceted linkages between education and migration. It estimates gaps in educational outcomes; identifies structural barriers to education; and highlights promising practices to inform policy.

Measures implemented in the school setting to contain the COVID‐19 pandemic: a rapid scoping review

AUTHOR(S)
Shari Krishnaratne; Lisa M. Pfadenhauer; Michaela Coenen (et al.)

Published: December 2020

In response to the spread of SARS‐CoV‐2 and the impact of COVID‐19, national and subnational governments implemented a variety of measures in order to control the spread of the virus and the associated disease. While these measures were imposed with the intention of controlling the pandemic, they were also associated with severe psychosocial, societal, and economic implications on a societal level. One setting affected heavily by these measures is the school setting. By mid‐April 2020, 192 countries had closed schools, affecting more than 90% of the world’s student population. In consideration of the adverse consequences of school closures, many countries around the world reopened their schools in the months after the initial closures. To safely reopen schools and keep them open, governments implemented a broad range of measures. The evidence with regards to these measures, however, is heterogeneous, with a multitude of study designs, populations, settings, interventions and outcomes being assessed. To make sense of this heterogeneity, we conducted a rapid scoping review (8 October to 5 November 2020). This rapid scoping review is intended to serve as a precursor to a systematic review of effectiveness, which will inform guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.

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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.