Prof. Amy Greer

Prof. Amy Greer, Department of Population Medicine, spoke to the Toronto Star about the reopening of schools across Canada and its effect on rates of COVID-19.

The article notes that test positivity rates among school-aged children in Ontario are on the rise, suggesting more children are becoming infected — a trend Greer said she found worrying.

Greer, the Canada Research Chair in population disease modeling, added she is puzzled by the lack of school-based surveillance studies that could clarify whether students are spreading COVID in classrooms or becoming infected at home.

Schools should be a societal priority, she added, and shutting them down “should be our action of last resort.”

Speaking with the Waterloo Region Record about Halloween, Greer said she wasn’t too concerned about the risk of COVID- 19 transmission from trick-or-treating.

“It is an outdoor activity, it is lower risk than any activity that is indoors. Kids can still experience Halloween and get that joy from it,” she said.

Greer studies infectious disease spread and is part of a research team modelling COVID-19 spread to advise federal public health authorities.