Tags: Coronavirus | Coronavirus Special | Education | France | Cold/Flu | schools | covid-19

France Closes Schools After COVID-19 Flareup Infects 70

a french flag with a face mask a thermometer and a coronavirus graphic
(Akeksandr Berdyugin/Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 18 May 2020 05:06 PM

Seven schools in northern France are now closed again amid a flareup of around 70 cases of COVID-19 linked to schools has hit just one week since school children returned to their classes after the government had loosened restrictions.

According to French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, 70 cases of COVID-19 were reported in the nation's nursery and elementary schools since they reopened, forcing them to close seven schools since May 11, shortly after they had reopened, reports RFI radio in France.

Blanquer told RTL radio schools have been closed in Mayenne, Cantal, Haute-Garonne, and Nice. The closures were not expected to affect the gradual return for students in the fifth and sixth grades in the nation's "green zones." 

The cases "occurred almost every time outside of school," Blanquer, but the closures "show that we are strict" about safety in the schools.

Blanquer did not say if the 70 cases of COVID-19 were among students or their teachers and added the incubation period is usually several days long, so most people had likely been infected before they came back to school.

He added, about 30% of the children had returned to school. The French government is allowing parents to keep their children at home if they wish. 

About 30% of children went back to school, Blanquer said. The government has allowed parents to keep children at home, but he said that causes more harm than good.

"The consequences of not going to school are much more serious," Blanquer said, adding children who remain out of classes face the risk of "considerable psychological, food, and health damage."

Meanwhile, about 70% of the nation's pupils are continuing to use distance learning courses rather than returning to classrooms, he said. 

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After a flareup of around 70 cases of COVID-19 linked to schools just one week after school children returned to their classes, seven schools in northern France are now closed again.
schools, covid-19, shutdowns, pandemic
286
2020-06-18
Monday, 18 May 2020 05:06 PM
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