Ahead of the fall academic year, American parents are asking one question: If schools reopen, will my child be safe from COVID-19?
Well, there’s some good news from Europe in the last several weeks. The Wall Street Journal has compiled a list of officials from countries who have overwhelmingly reported, that after a month or so of having education systems open, there are limited to no outbreaks of the virus.
Schools in Denmark, Austria, Norway, Finland, and Germany, have been operating for 1-2 months with no issue whatsoever about the virus. This is excellent news for American parents but also for stubborn US education officials who continue to shutter many school systems across the country for the upcoming academic year.
Denmark was one of the first Western countries to reopen schools in mid-April and has a tracing system for if an outbreak is detected.
“Our interpretation is that it may be that the children aren’t that important for the spread of infection,” said Tyra Grove Krause, a senior official with the State Serum Institute. Schools have imposed social distancing, air circulation, and new hygiene measures to reduce transmission risk.
Norweigan Education Minister Guri Melby said if infections rise in the country, education facilities will remain open. Melby reopened schools on April 20 and has yet to report any significant outbreak.
Austria reopened on May 18, so far, there has been no rise in infections at schools and kindergartens, a government spokesman said.