Getting kids back to school was easy compared with what will come next | Sarah Dry

There needs to be a strategy to prevent Covid-19 infections spread in schools from reaching the wider community

Over the past week, nearly 9 million children have returned to school across England and Wales amid much excitement and uncertainty. Everyone wants children to be able to continue learning without interruption, but current government school reopening guidelines fail to incorporate a crucial lesson we’ve learned in the past six months: the risk of so-called aerosol transmission by people without symptoms, now understood to be a major mode by which the virus is shared. The government’s U-turns have amplified the sense of uncertainty around this virus. But there is much we do know about how it spreads.

There is growing evidence of the role of children in this pandemic. Since early summer in the US, rates of infection have been rising faster among children than in the general population. Recent outbreaks there, including at two camps in Georgia and a number of schools, indicate that when conditions are right, coronavirus can spread quickly within groups of children. Today it is being reported that dozens of schools across England and Wales are facing outbreaks.

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