Minimal transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from paediatric COVID-19 cases in primary schools, Norway, August to November 2020

Euro Surveill. 2021 Jan;26(1):2002011. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.26.1.2002011.


An intense debate on school closures to control the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing in Europe. We prospectively examined transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from confirmed paediatric cases in Norwegian primary schools between August and November 2020. All in-school contacts were systematically tested twice during their quarantine period. With preventive measures implemented in schools, we found minimal child-to-child (0.9%, 2/234) and child-to-adult (1.7%, 1/58) transmission, supporting that under 14 year olds are not the drivers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; children 5–13 years; school; school-related contacts; transmission.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control
  • COVID-19 / transmission*
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Contact Tracing*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Physical Distancing
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quarantine
  • Schools*