Dutch schools already sending classes home over coronavirus infections
Students in dozens of school classrooms across Amsterdam were already sent home because of pupils who were diagnosed with coronavirus infections this week. Schools in the northern region of the Netherlands, including the capital, returned from summer break on August 23. The central region started up on August 30, and schools in the south will return this coming Monday.
A statistical update showed that school-aged children tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus at a higher rate than any other age group last week. There was a 47-percent increase in infections among 4 to 12 year olds with 1,910 of them having tested positive. That was 15.5 percent of all those tested in the age group. Roughly 19.1 percent of teenagers from 13 to 17 also tested positive during the week. They accounted for at least 1,471 infections, about 2 percent lower than a week earlier.
"The children have not been vaccinated, so it makes sense that they are more likely to be infected," said a spokesperson for the GGD in Amsterdam. Classes have already been sent home in other parts of the northern region for the same reason. There are also dozens of school groups in the Kennemerland region where children have to remain quarantined.
In the province of Drenthe, some groups of students are also already back home. The GGD there could not say how many, but "it's going pretty quickly now". But not every class in this province where infections were found in the group are being forced out of school, the spokesperson emphasizes. Sometimes this is not necessary and "customization" is possible depending on the circumstances and who the infected person contacted.
In Friesland it also happens "regularly" that classes go home, although the spokesperson there could also not say exactly how many. There were 87 infections in primary education this week, and 80 in secondary schools and higher education.
So far, a "few coronavirus cases" have been reported at a "few different schools" in northern Noord-Holland, according to a spokesperson for the GGD Hollands Noorden. That has not yet led to real outbreaks. "Entire schools have not yet had to close."
There are a total of more than 6,660 primary schools in the Netherlands and almost 650 secondary schools.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.