Returning to schools and universities in the time of coronavirus: some statistical suggestions

empty classroom

Pupils returned to school in England, Wales and Northern Ireland after the summer break mainly during the week beginning 31 August 2020. In Scotland, they returned earlier in August. The risks associated with returning to school have been the subject of much recent political and scientific debate; see, for example, The Royal Society’s DELVE Initiative reports on balancing the risks of pupils returning to schools and on statistical designs for studies into Covid-19 transmission in schools.

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A perspective on real-time epidemic surveillance for Covid-19

covid infection

Effective, real-time surveillance is key to the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. In what follows, we first set out a set of principles that may usefully guide real-time surveillance systems for emerging infectious diseases and discuss these in the context of Covid-19. We then briefly review a range of potential sources of data and describe in broad terms strategies for study design and data analysis.

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Off the “radar”? Here are some alternatives


Radar charts, also called web charts, spider charts or star charts, are often used to display various characteristics of a profile simultaneously. Whether it presents a tennis player’s statistics or a client’s preferences, the main outcome of a radar chart is a simple polygon, commonly known as a shape. This shape has specificities: it covers a surface, has sides of various lengths, has many different angles, is often colored, etc. The singularity of this shape is sure to help catch readers’ often limited attention. Before long, they are intrigued, trying to interpret the meaning of this geometric form.

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