Opening schools did not worsen COVID-19 spread in Denmark and Finland
As the end of the school year draws to a close, questions are in the air as to when schools will be allowed to open. Much like reopening the economy, there is a fear that reopening schools will worsen the spread of COVID-19.
Is this fear justified?
When it comes to school reopenings, there are a couple of countries that we can draw lessons from. And fortunately, for those countries that have opened, the data suggests that school openings are highly unlikely to worsen the spread of Covid-19.
Denmark began sending its children back to school on April 15, just over a month after Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen issued an extensive nationwide lockdown. They were kept spaced apart in classrooms and on playgrounds, while sanitation measures such as hand-washing stations and deep-cleaning procedures were put into place.
Similar measures were put into place in Finland to keep children from congregating in large groups. The country’s education minister, Li Andersson, predicted that reopening schools would “have a minimal impact on the pandemic, but grand benefits for children.”
According to Reuters;
Sending children back to schools and day care centers in Denmark, the first country in Europe to do so, did not lead to an increase in coronavirus infections, according to official data, confirming similar findings from Finland on Thursday.
School closures do not combat the spread of COVID-19
School closures have already faced criticism before as an ineffective way to combat the spread of Covid-19. Current research evidence seems to suggest school closings have a minimal effect on preventing Covid-19.
As the research continues to show, children face very little risk from COVID-10 and are, furthermore, not primarily responsible for spreading it.
Research over the last several months has continuously shown that children appear to be less at risk for becoming ill from COVID-19 and spreading it to others. Researchers in Australia, as well as the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, eacn have said that children as a group are largely not responsible for spreading the coronavirus.
This is definitely good news as states are figuring out how to reopen while keeping Covid-19 under control. This is also good news for parents who may worry about the safety and health of their kids once schools open.
Let us hope that lawmakers will follow the science this time.