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The role of children in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 remains unclear, and robust data for a consistent explanation for the markedly skewed age distribution of COVID-19 cases are not yet available. In mitigating the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, governments have to weigh the public health benefit of interventions such as school closure against the significant societal and economic disruption they impose. To motivate the discussion of age-stratified social distancing measures, we propose to conduct a prospective household study in families with children in three different age-categories relevant to daycare and school closure policies. The study aims to quantify the role of children in SARS-CoV-2 transmission using a community-based surveillance approach that minimizes the risk of bias resulting from case identification conditional on healthcare usage. The results from the study will be used to inform models that estimate the impact of various age-structured social distancing interventions on the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic.

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