In the most populous Land of Germany, the North Rhine-Westphalia, already 30,000 students ended up in quarantine and among adolescents the incidence of contagions is tripled compared to the population average. In Scotland last week it was surpassed for three times the absolute peak of new cases register in one day. A small municipality Swiss 30 kilometers from Zurich has 607 pupils in quarantine until September 16. In the United States the number of closed institutions increases day by day: per thousands of students means return to distance learning. In countries where the school And already broken down in the presence, Covid has inexorably started running again – thanks to it Delta variant – especially among children and adolescents. Obviously, returning to class is just one of them factors which caused the new increase in cases: also in Italy in the last week of August, therefore with institutions still closed, the highest incidence was recorded in the age group between 10 and 19 years. The boys are the last to receive the vaccine and have already had many opportunities to contact due to the relaxation of restrictions during the summer. With the reopening of schools, the phenomenon is amplified: an increase is “unavoidable“, The president of Aifa and member of the CTS explained on Tuesday Giorgio Palù, underlining that “young people are more exposed with the Delta variant”.
In addition to the increase in positives, the trouble main concerns finishing students in quarantine, with relative repercussions on families and on the didactics: return in presence it is a mantra for all Western countries, but the more cases the more remote lessons they go back to being there normality, with several classes if not entire institutes which remain closed. In Germany, where the first schools in Mecklenburg-Pomerania have reopened already on 2 August, the ministers of the Salute of the countries they decided to tackle the problem and agree on one uniform line at national level: only i closer contacts of a positive pupil, such as the desk mate, must go to quarantine and the duration is reduced to five days. Subsequently, it is enough to carry out a molecular swab, but also a quick test, to go back to class. It was therefore decided to use as little as possible the distance learning, even at the cost of give up tracking of contacts of a positive.
The Germany so he decided to run for cover, after understanding that the normal anti-Covid rules – masks, spacing, ventilation of spaces – by themselves they are not enough to contain infections, despite the increase in the number of vaccinated even among the youngest. The other countries where the school has already restarted have also focused above all on immunization: in Usa the rules on the mask in the classroom change from state to state, in UK it was decided to remove all restrictions and the only obstacle remains periodic screening. In Italy, where the school has already restarted in the province of Bolzano and since September 13 will resume almost all over the country, in the absence of adequate spaces respect for the distance is often impracticable and is aimed at masks e ventilation. The risk, therefore, is that of finding yourself soon having to face a new one increase in infections and the quarantine of entire classes. Here is what happened in the countries where the lessons have already resumed:
GERMANY – The first schools reopened over a month ago, most of the German children and teenagers went back to class in mid-August. Monday 16 the national incidence was at 36 almost weekly for every 100 thousand inhabitants, afterwards three weeks it shot up to altitude 84. In addition, the latest data published by the Robert Koch Institute divided by age range, highlight how the greatest number of infections is concentrated in people between 10 and 19 years (see graph).
A particularly evident phenomenon in North Rhine-Westphalia, where before the new quarantine rules already over 30 thousand students and about 300 teachers ended up in solitary confinement for two weeks. On 5 September the incidence between 10 and 14 years was a 343,9, between 5 and 9 years a 302,8, between 15 and 19 years a 247. The average of the entire population is 113,7. According to the politician and doctor of the SPD Karl Lauterbach the Land is already losing control of the infection among children: in the district of Gutersloh, for example, the white flag was raised on tracking due to lack of staff compared to the needs of the moment. At the same time, however, theprofessional association of pediatricians (Bvkj) asked “a afterthought of the policy of testing and quarantine in kindergartens and schools ”, proposing that“ all children who they are not positive can continue to attend “. Moreover, even in another very populous German Land such as Bavaria, the incidence is higher among people of school age: yet the return to classes will only take place next Monday, 13 September.
FRANCE – French schools reopened at the very beginning of September and after 5 days the Ministry of Education reported 545 classi closed for Covid. In percentage, however, it is just about it 0,1% of classes. The latest data relating to the last school year, in the week of the end of June, spoke of 380 closed classrooms (0.07%). “It shows that for the moment we are in a management of the situation that resembles that ofLast year“Said the Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer. In the meantime, however, the French protocol has changed: that’s enough in primary schools a case of positivity to close the whole class, while in the secondary schools (middle and high school) only end up in quarantine i close contacts who are not vaccinated or cured.
GREAT BRITAIN – Millions of pupils returned to classrooms in Monday on Monday England e Wales, amid fears of a spike in Covid cases. There Bbc reports that in the last week of August there were more than 300 almost every 100 thousand inhabitants among young people aged 5 to 15. A year ago in the same period this value was less than 10. It is the combined effect of the diffusion of Delta variant and a general loosening of restrictions of the country, which particularly affected the age group that cannot be protected with the vaccine. Many British experts, especially in reference to the school, are beginning to openly criticize this strategy. The reason for the fears is what happened in Scotland, where students are required to mask – which in the rest of the UK it is not foreseen – yet there are already over 30 thousand young people who have had to give up on-the-spot lessons due to Covid: about 8 out of 10 are in quarantine, as a close contact of a positive. In the last week, Scotland has updated its record of daily cases since the beginning of the pandemic three times, reaching above 6 thousand for the first time. The prime minister, Nicola Sturgeon, explained that “the number of positives is on the rise across the UK”, but the surge in Scotland is “at least partly a consequence of the fact that our schools started again earlier “.
UNITED STATES – The first alarm the company launched it in recent days Burbio, which monitors the activities of American schools: since the end of July, when the first pupils have set foot in the classrooms, they have already been closed over a thousand institutes. By mid-August the situation was out of control: over 10 thousand students quarantined in Hillsborough County alone Florida, the county of Ware in Georgia forced to close all the institutions, as well as in Texas where in some counties the dad has opted directly. In the meantime the situation has not improved: the North Carolina, for example, on Wednesday he announced the presence of 170 outbreaks in its schools, the 71% more than the previous week. There Cnn reports the fears of medici ed experts, which predict a new surge in infections at school after the weekend of Labor Day: “In August, tens of thousands of students and teachers were forced to quarantine, some classes even temporarily returned to online teaching. Could happen again“. A survey published by Usa Today reports that to date two out of three parents I am in favor of the obligation to wear a mask for their children at school, which is not yet foreseen in many American states.
SWISS – Also in the cantons the restart of the schools has determined an increase in cases of Covid. According to the data released by swissinfo.ch, to date over 50% of infections concern people under 30 years of age. Tanja Stadler, president of the Task Force of the Swiss Federal Council, commented: “We are observing a wave of infections pronounced among children and adolescents”. On the other hand, it was also in Switzerland revoked the obligation to wear a mask in schools. Only for the high schools the different cantons can decide which path to choose. An example is the case of Lenzburg, small town near Zurich where well 607 pupils of primary and nursery schools are in quarantine following an exponential growth in coronavirus cases.