What The Study Did: The findings of this study suggest that social gatherings among unvaccinated students were associated with increased COVID-19 infections in a university’s community beginning eight days after the final game of participation in the 2021 NCAA March Madness basketball tournament.
Conclusion of the study:
“The findings of this cross-sectional study suggest that social gatherings among unvaccinated students were associated with increased COVID-19 infections (in this scenario, slowing the previous downward trend and briefly increasing) in a university’s community beginning 8 days after the event, which corresponds with the 75th percentile of time to symptom onset. There are some limitations to this study. First, states vary in their testing and reporting of COVID-19 infections over time. Second, universities participating in March Madness may have increased surveillance testing during and after the tournament and, thus, documented more COVID-19 infections during this time than in other counties, but the data set does not stratify by whether the infections occurred at a university.”
“This study identifies an urgent gap in evidence on the risk of COVID-19 spread at social gatherings among university students, although the increase in transmission was brief. This increase in transmission may have been brief because of increases in the vaccination rate of university students during this time or because some students may have completed their semester before the end of the study period.”
This study is based on a press release from JAMA Network. Link to article.