Eurosurveillance | Secondary transmission of COVID-19 in preschool and school settings in northern Italy after their reopening in September 2020: a population-based study
Schools in Reggio Emilia province, northern Italy, reopened on 1 September 2020 after a long period of closure due to lockdown and summer holidays. We conducted epidemiological investigations after reopening in 41 classes in 36 different educational settings in this province after the notification of an infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
The first wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic hit the Reggio Emilia province (northern Italy, 530,000 inhabitants) in March and April 2020, reaching ca 0.9% cumulative incidence (0.4% for age < 50 years and 3.2% for age > 80 years) with a more than 15% fatality rate (0.2% for age < 50 years and 33.4% for age > 80 years) [1,2]. After 5 months of low incidence, the province began the second wave in October (Figure).
Figure. Daily number of notified COVID-19 cases and deaths since the start of the epidemic in Italy, Reggio Emilia province, 27 February–10 November 2020 (n = 11,878 cases, n = 658 deaths)
Graphique parlant que l’ajout du suffixe #.jpeg (qui fonctionne fort bien pour toutes sortes d’image non reconnues par seenthis) ne permet pas de faire apparaître ici :
Transmission within the schools of Reggio Emilia province, northern Italy, occurred in a non-negligible number of cases, particularly in the age group 10–18 years, i.e. in middle and high schools, while no secondary cases were detected in pre-school children, only one case in primary school and no secondary cases among teachers and staff. At least in the largest cluster that we reported, more prompt isolation and testing of classmates could have reduced virus transmission, suggesting the importance of timeliness in this setting.