Two schools close in Germany a few days after the start of the school year

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Two schools in northern Germany had to close their doors after the emergence of cases of COVID-19 infection, just days after the start of the school year, local authorities announced on Friday.

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

In the small seaside town of Graal-Müritz, the hundred or so primary school children and teachers were sent home for two weeks of quarantine after a student tested positive for the new coronavirus, said the canton of Rostock.

Also in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the first German region where classes resumed on Monday, the Goethe high school located in Ludwigslust will remain closed until Wednesday inclusive after a teacher was declared positive, the authorities of this canton said in a statement. .

• Read also: What we know about children and COVID

This is a precautionary measure, because the teacher has not given lessons since the start of the school year, they said. All of her 55 colleagues will also undergo a screening test, because the teacher had, however, participated in the pre-school meetings. Some 800 students are enrolled in this high school.

The schools in this Land located on the shore of the Baltic Sea are the first to resume lessons in Germany, where the school holidays which last six weeks are spread out according to the region.

The new school year has meanwhile also taken place in Hamburg, and from next week it will be the turn of Schleswig-Holstein, Brandenburg, Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state in the country and the one of the most affected by the pandemic.

Regional education ministers agreed in July on a resumption of full-time classes at the start of the school year, after several months of partial or distance classes during confinement.

But the debate is swelling in Germany over the relevance of such a decision as the rate of new cases of infection has started to rise again in the country.

For two days, it has exceeded 1,000 daily cases, returning to the levels of early May.

The regions have put in place a number of rules in schools to prevent transmission of the virus as much as possible. Classrooms are regularly ventilated and students must respect barrier gestures such as regular hand washing.

Wearing a mask is not compulsory during lessons, but it is often in hallways or common rooms in buildings.

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