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Europe’s Schools Stay Open In COVID Second Wave, While U.s. Schools Close

When European schools reopened their classrooms in the spring, after the first wave of the coronavirus had crested, some parents expressed concern their children were being used as “guinea pigs” in a dangerous experiment. But to the extent that European schools have acted as laboratories for the world, the findings eight months later are largely positive.

Most of Europe kept schools open even during a worst-on-the-planet second wave of infections this fall. And still, schools appear to be relatively safe environments, public health officials say. As long as they adhered to a now-established set of precautions — mask-wearing, hand-washing, ventilation — schools are thought to have played only a limited role in accelerating coronavirus transmission in Europe.