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Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 40(11): e418-e423, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494050


BACKGROUND: School closures are a subject of debate during the present coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Because children are not the main driver of COVID-19 transmission in the community, school education must be prioritized in conjunction with appropriate infection prevention and control measures, as determined by local COVID-19 incidence. METHODS: We investigated the causes and transmission routes of a primary school cluster of COVID-19 that occurred during November and December 2020 in Niigata, Japan. RESULTS: In the cluster, the virus spread among teachers, then from teachers to students, and then to their family members. This primary school cluster comprised 26 infected patients and included teachers (13/33, 39%), students (9/211, 4%), and family members (4/65, 6%). The secondary attack rate from the 3 index teachers to the remaining 30 teachers was 33%; however, the rate to students was only 4%. Factors contributing to cluster formation include the fact that 2 of the index teachers continued working while symptomatic and that the environment and infection prevention measures in the teachers' room were inadequate. CONCLUSIONS: To open schools safely and without interruption, adequate measures to prevent COVID-19 infection in schools should be emphasized not only for children but also for teachers and their environment.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Outbreaks , SARS-CoV-2 , School Teachers , Schools , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , Child , Female , Humans , Incidence , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Public Health Surveillance , Young Adult