Effect of school reopening on SARS-CoV-2 incidence in a low-prevalence region: Prospective SARS-CoV-2 testing in healthcare workers with primary school-attending children versus without children living at home

Melvin Frie, Lisa M Havinga, Janneke Wiersema-Buist, Charlotte G Veldman, Marjan JT de Vries, Lilli Rurenga-Gard, Alex W Friedrich, Marjolein Knoester*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

1 Citaat (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) often presents asymptomatically or milder in children compared to adults. The role of young children in the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) remains largely unknown. In the Netherlands, the first action of loosening the partial lockdown that had been implemented to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission was the reopening of primary schools on 1 May 2020. We subsequently conducted a prospective cohort study among healthcare workers (HCWs) with primary school-attending children versus HCWs without children living at home. We tested each HCW three times for SARS-CoV-2 from May 20 to June 15 2020 at 1-week intervals. In total, 832 nasopharyngeal swabs were taken from 283 HCWs with primary school-attending children living at home and 864 nasopharyngeal swabs from 285 HCWs without children living at home. All nasopharyngeal swabs tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. In our region with a low population density and low SARS-CoV-2 prevalence, reopening of primary schools did not lead to an increase in infections. The results of this study may serve as an example for the implementation of regional strategies to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission in countries with large variations in both population density and SARS-CoV-2 prevalence.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)269-274
Aantal pagina's6
TijdschriftJournal of Infection Prevention
Nummer van het tijdschrift6
Vroegere onlinedatum18-jun.-2021
StatusPublished - nov.-2021

Citeer dit