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Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 6: 100120, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233524


BACKGROUND: The full reopening of schools in September 2020 was associated with an increase in COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in educational settings across England. METHODS: Primary and secondary schools reporting an outbreak (≥2 laboratory-confirmed cases within 14 days) to Public Health England (PHE) between 31 August and 18 October 2020 were contacted in November 2020 to complete an online questionnaire. INTERPRETATION: There were 969 school outbreaks reported to PHE, comprising 2% (n = 450) of primary schools and 10% (n = 519) of secondary schools in England. Of the 369 geographically-representative schools contacted, 179 completed the questionnaire (100 primary schools, 79 secondary schools) and 2,314 cases were reported. Outbreaks were larger and across more year groups in secondary schools than in primary schools. Teaching staff were more likely to be the index case in primary (48/100, 48%) than secondary (25/79, 32%) school outbreaks (P = 0.027). When an outbreak occurred, attack rates were higher in staff (881/17,362; 5.07; 95%CI, 4.75-5.41) than students, especially primary school teaching staff (378/3852; 9.81%; 95%CI, 8.90-10.82%) compared to secondary school teaching staff (284/7146; 3.97%; 95%CI, 3.79-5.69%). Secondary school students (1105/91,919; 1.20%; 95%CI, 1.13-1.28%) had higher attack rates than primary school students (328/39,027; 0.84%; 95%CI, 0.75-0.94%). CONCLUSIONS: A higher proportion of secondary schools than primary schools reported a COVID-19 outbreak and experienced larger outbreaks across multiple school year groups. The higher attack rate among teaching staff during an outbreak, especially in primary schools, suggests that additional protective measures may be needed. FUNDING: PHE.

J Infect ; 83(2): 237-279, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225296


The COVID-19 vaccination programme commenced in England on 8th December 2020 primarily based on age; by 7th March 2021 approximately 93% of the English population aged 70+ years had received at least 1 dose of either the Pfizer BioNTech or AstraZeneca vaccines. Using a nucleoprotein assay that detects antibodies following natural infection only and a spike assay that detects infection and vaccine-induced responses, we aim to describe the impact of vaccination on SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence in English blood donors.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Aged , Antibody Formation , Blood Donors , England/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Humans , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Vaccination
Arch Dis Child ; 105(12): 1180-1185, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-711661


OBJECTIVES: To assess disease trends, testing practices, community surveillance, case-fatality and excess deaths in children as compared with adults during the first pandemic peak in England. SETTING: England. PARTICIPANTS: Children with COVID-19 between January and May 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Trends in confirmed COVID-19 cases, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positivity rates in children compared with adults; community prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in children with acute respiratory infection (ARI) compared with adults, case-fatality rate in children with confirmed COVID-19 and excess childhood deaths compared with the previous 5 years. RESULTS: Children represented 1.1% (1,408/129,704) of SARS-CoV-2 positive cases between 16 January 2020 and 3 May 2020. In total, 540 305 people were tested for SARS-COV-2 and 129,704 (24.0%) were positive. In children aged <16 years, 35,200 tests were performed and 1408 (4.0%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2, compared to 19.1%-34.9% adults. Childhood cases increased from mid-March and peaked on 11 April before declining. Among 2,961 individuals presenting with ARI in primary care, 351 were children and 10 (2.8%) were positive compared with 9.3%-45.5% in adults. Eight children died and four (case-fatality rate, 0.3%; 95% CI 0.07% to 0.7%) were due to COVID-19. We found no evidence of excess mortality in children. CONCLUSIONS: Children accounted for a very small proportion of confirmed cases despite the large numbers of children tested. SARS-CoV-2 positivity was low even in children with ARI. Our findings provide further evidence against the role of children in infection and transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , England/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Public Health/trends