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Healthcare worker absenteeism, child care costs, and COVID-19 school closures: a simulation analysis
Trevor Hastie
Sanjay Basu
Elizabeth T Chin
Benjamin Q Huynh
Nathan C Lo
Novel Coronavirus
Acceso Abierto
School closures have been enacted as a measure of mitigation during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic due to their ability to reduce transmission. It has been shown that school closures could cause absenteeism amongst healthcare workers with dependent children, but there is a need for detailed high-resolution analysis of the relationship between school closures and healthcare worker absenteeism to inform local community preparedness. We provide national- and county-level simulations of school closures and absenteeism across the United States. At the national level, we estimate the projected absenteeism rate to range from 7.5% to 8.6%, and the effectiveness of school closures to range from 172 to 218 fewer hospital beds used per 100,000 people at peak demand. At the county-level, we find substantial variations of projected absenteeism and school closure effects, ranging from 2.0% to 18.6% absenteeism and 88 to 280 fewer hospital beds used per 100,000 people at peak demand. We also find significant associations between levels of absenteeism and COVID-19 complication factors. We observe from our models that an estimated 98.8% of counties would find it less expensive to provide child care to all healthcare workers with children than to bear the costs of healthcare worker absenteeism during school closures, identifying child care subsidization as a potential solution to help maintain healthcare systems during a pandemic. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest. ### Funding Statement This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. DGE – 1656518. ### Author Declarations All relevant ethical guidelines have been followed; any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained and details of the IRB/oversight body are included in the manuscript. Yes All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived. Yes I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance). Yes I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable. Yes All code and data will be made publicly available.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Appears in Collections:Artículos científicos

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