Rapid communication Open Access
Like 0


As many countries begin to lift some of the restrictions to contain COVID-19 spread, lack of evidence of transmission in the school setting remains. We examined Irish notifications of SARS-CoV2 in the school setting before school closures on 12 March 2020 and identified no paediatric transmission. This adds to current evidence that children do not appear to be drivers of transmission, and we argue that reopening schools should be considered safe accompanied by certain measures.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. World Health Organisation (WHO). WHO announces COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Geneva: WHO; March 2020. [Accessed 15 May 2020]. Available from: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/news/news/2020/3/who-announces-covid-19-outbreak-a-pandemic
  2. Cohen SA, Chui KK, Naumova EN. Influenza vaccination in young children reduces influenza-associated hospitalizations in older adults, 2002-2006. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011;59(2):327-32.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03271.x  PMID: 21275932 
  3. Xu X, Liu X, Wu Y, ALI ST. Close contacts and household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in China: a content analysis based on local Heath Commissions' public disclosures. medRxiv 2020.03.02.20029868; (Preprint). https://doi.org/ https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.02.20029868 
  4. Bayham J, Fenichel EP. Impact of school closures for COVID-19 on the US health-care workforce and net mortality: a modelling study. Lancet Public Health. 2020;5(5):e271-8.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(20)30082-7  PMID: 32251626 
  5. Van Lancker W, Parolin Z. COVID-19, school closures, and child poverty: a social crisis in the making. Lancet Public Health. 2020;5(5):e243-4.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(20)30084-0  PMID: 32275858 
  6. Department of Education and Skills. Covid-19-Statement from the Department of Education and Skills. Department of Education and Skills; 12 March 2020. Available from: https://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Press-Releases/2020-press-releases/12-march-2020-statement-from-the-department-of-education-and-skills.html
  7. European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC). Case definition and European surveillance for COVID-19, as of 2 March 2020. Stockholm: ECDC; Mar 2020. Available from: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/case-definition-and-european-surveillance-human-infection-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
  8. Health protection surveillance centre, H.P.S.C. Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) National Interim Guidelines for Public Health management of contacts of cases of COVID-19. Dublin: HPSC. [Accessed 15 May 2020]. Available from: https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/contacttracingguidance/National%20Interim%20Guidance%20for%20contact%20tracing.pdf
  9. Gudbjartsson DF, Helgason A, Jonsson H, Magnusson OT, Melsted P, Norddahl GL, et al. Spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the Icelandic Population. N Engl J Med. 2020; (April):14.  PMID: 32289214 
  10. Lavezzo E, Franchin E, Ciavarella C, Cuomo-Dannenburg G, Barzon L, Del Vecchio C, et al. Suppression of COVID-10 outbreak in the municipality of Vo, Italy. medRxiv 2020.04.17.20053157; (Preprint). https://doi.org/ https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.17.20053157 
  11. National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS). COVID-19 in schools – the experience in NSW. Westmead: NCIRS; 2020. Available from: http://ncirs.org.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/NCIRS%20NSW%20Schools%20COVID_Summary_FINAL%20public_26%20April%202020.pdf
  12. COVID-19. IFRC, UNICEF and WHO issue guidance to protect children and support safe school operations. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2020. [Accessed 26 May 2020]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/10-03-2020-covid-19-ifrc-unicef-and-who-issue-guidance-to-protect-children-and-support-safe-school-operations
  13. World Health Organization (WHO). Transitioning to and maintaining a steady state of low-level or no transmission. Nonthaburi: WHO Thailand; 18 April 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/thailand/news/detail/18-04-2020-transitioning-to-and-maintaining-a-steady-state-of-low-level-or-no-transmission
  14. European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC). Rapid Risk Assessment: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the EU/EEA and the UK– ninth update. Stockholm: ECDC; 23 Apr 2020. Available from: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/rapid-risk-assessment-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-pandemic-ninth-update

Data & Media loading...

Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error