Study: 1 in 4 parents misled others on child’s COVID status

Children from kindergarten to fifth grade arrive for in-person learning at Sutherland Elementary School in Chicago on March 1, 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS

CHICAGO — Roughly 1 in 4 American parents lied to or misled others about their child’s COVID-19 status at the height of the pandemic, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Network Open, a journal of the Chicago-based American Medical Association.

The research also showed that more than a quarter of parents across the country had been dishonest in some way about their child’s health, vaccination status or compliance with various COVID-19 pandemic safety measures. The findings were based on a survey of 580 parents of children under 18 from across the country, which was conducted in December 2021. Around the same time, COVID cases surged nationwide, spurring emergency school closures and abrupt switches to remote learning in many parts of the United States.

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