With many parents, teachers and public health officials worried that reopening American schools in the fall could lead to a surge in COVID-19 cases, data from Denmark and Finland suggests it might be safe.
Denmark, the first country in Europe to send kids back to school and day care centers, allowed children between the ages of 2 to 12 back in day cares and schools on April 15, after a one-month lockdown. Based on five weeks of data, health authorities announced that reopening schools and day care centers did not lead to an increase in cases.
In fact, the number of infected children between ages 1 and 19 has declined steadily since late April. On Thursday, a top health official in Finland also said that no data shows the coronavirus has spread faster since their schools reopened in mid-May.
Data like this from other countries, plus the trend in COVID-19 cases here in the US, will likely play a large role in health officials’ decisions to reopen schools in the fall and what steps are put into place to keep children safe if and when they do enter the classroom.