Denmark and Finland say that they did not experience a spike in coronavirus cases after they reopened schools following the coronavirus pandemic lockdown in their nations.
Denmark was the first country in Europe to allow children between 2 and 12 years of age to go back to daycare and school on April 15 following a month of coronavirus lockdown, Reuters reported.
The kids followed social distancing guidelines in classrooms and on the playground and hand-washing stations and deep-cleaning procedures were put in place to keep up with sanitation, according to JusttheNews.com.
After five weeks, health authorities, including a doctor of infectious disease epidemiology and prevention at the Danish Serum Institute, found that sending kids back to school did not result in additional cases of COVID-19.
“You cannot see any negative effects from the reopening of schools,” Dr. Peter Andersen said.
The number of children infected with coronavirus has declined since the end of April following a slight increase in cases immediately following the reopening.
Andersen said it was too early to point to the reopening as the cause for even that small uptick.
“Based on preliminary experiences, it does not look like there has been a negative effect on the spread among school children or in society in general,” he said.
Officials in Finland observed similar findings after reopening schools in mid-May.
Finish children were also kept apart in an effort to keep them from gathering in large groups.
Li Andersson, the country’s education minister, predicted that reopening the schools would “have a minimal impact on the pandemic, but grand benefits for children,” JusttheNews.com reported.
As of Saturday morning, there are 11,833 cases of coronavirus in Denmark and 6,826 cases in Finland, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
Denmark has the 17th-highest rate of coronavirus-related deaths in the world, according to data from Statista. Finland has the 25th-highest. (By comparison, the U.S. appears in the ninth position on the same list.)
Cases and deaths in both countries appear to have peaked in early April.
Research has shown that children are less at risk of becoming sick with COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The organization is still investigating cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children associated with the novel coronavirus.
Denmark has also opened its border to tourists from Norway but has excluded neighboring Sweden, the BBC reported. Sweden has the sixth highest percentage of coronavirus-related deaths in the world, according to Statista, with a rate four times higher than Denmark’s.
As of Saturday morning, there were 37,113 cases of coronavirus in Sweden.
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