How Risky Is A School Carpool?

In our series "What's the Risk?" experts weigh in on what risks different scenarios pose for transmitting COVID-19.
Posted at 2:59 PM, Aug 18, 2020

As the school year starts, you might be wondering about the risks of getting sick with COVID-19.  

We asked the experts, how risky is carpooling?

Their take: The risk of contracting COVID-19 from a carpool is medium risk.

"If you have several different families as a part of a carpool, then you have more risk. It's more of a moderate risk because you have several different children from different homes. And the more children you add to that equation from different locations, I think the riskier it becomes," Annette Anderson, deputy director for the Johns Hopkins University Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, told Newsy.

"Are you going to have your mask on? You're going to be in a closed environment. Who's washing, sort of wiping down the car when you're done?" Neysa Ernst, Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit nurse manager, said.

"It's relative. To a bus, it's better," Cleveland Clinic pediatric infectious diseases specialist Dr. Frank Esper said. "You are bringing yourself in a very enclosed space in the car. You can't really keep six feet distance in a car. So if there is a risk by bringing those kids in, but if you just keep it with the same carpool and you're keeping the windows open and those are the same kids that they are exposed to on a daily basis when you go to school, I think that's actually the best thing you can do, aside from actually even better is walking to school or biking to school."

For more answers on what is low, medium, or high risk, visit