Surveillance of COVID-19 school outbreaks, Germany, March to August 2020

Euro Surveill. 2020 Sep;25(38):2001645. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.38.2001645.


Mitigation of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Germany included school closures in early March 2020. After reopening in April, preventive measures were taken in schools. We analysed national surveillance system data on COVID-19 school outbreaks during different time periods. After reopening, smaller outbreaks (average: 2.2/week) occurred despite low incidence in the general population. School closures might have a detrimental effect on children and should be applied only cautiously and in combination with other measures.

Keywords: COVID-19; Germany; SARS-CoV-2; children; school outbreaks; surveillance.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • COVID-19
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Coronavirus*
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission*
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Quarantine*
  • Schools
  • Time Factors