To characterize this behavior, we surveyed students in grades 9-12 and parents of students in grades 5-8 about student activities during a week long closure of a school during the first months after the disease emerged. We found significant interaction with the community and other students-though less interaction with other students than during school-with the level of interaction increasing with grade.
Many schools were temporarily closed in response to outbreaks of the recently emerged pandemic influenza A/H1N1 virus. The effectiveness of closing schools to reduce transmission depends largely on student/family behavior during the closure. We sought to improve our understanding of these behaviors.
Our results are useful for the future design of social distancing policies and to improving the ability of modeling studies to accurately predict their impact.