The researchers culled through data on more responses to the U.S. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey for 2014-2017, to find out how many people with underlying health issues had links to elementary or secondary schools, either as employees or because they lived in homes with school staff or school-aged children.
The study found that between 42% and 51.4% of all school employees had an increased risk for severe COVID-19.
Not only that, between 63% and 72% of school employees and between 59% and 71% of school-age children lived in households with at least one high-risk adult, according to the study published Sept. 17 online in the journal Health Affairs.
Overall, 35% of all adults had a direct or within-household connection to schools, including between 34 million and 44 million adults with increased risk for severe COVID-19, the researchers said in a journal news release.
The team also found that Black and white school staffers had substantial differences in potential risk of exposure. Among those with increased risk, Black and Hispanic adults were substantially more likely than whites to live in households with school-age children.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19.