During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries adopted various non-pharmacological interventions to contain the number of infections. The most often used policy was school closures. We describe the strategy adopted by the Veneto Regional Authority to contain transmission in school settings. This included a detailed school surveillance system, strict contact tracing, and maintaining school attendance with self-monitoring for symptoms whenever possible. All analyzed COVID-19 cases among children, adolescents (0-19 years old), and school staff were registered using a web-based application between 4 January 2021 and 13 June 2021. During the study period, 6272 episodes of infection in schools were identified; 87% were linked to a student index case and 13% to school staff; 69% generated no secondary cases; 24% generated one or two; and only 7% caused more than two. Our data may help to clarify the role of school closures, providing useful input for decisions in the months to come. Good practice in public health management needs tools that provide a real-time interpretation of phenomena like COVID-19 outbreaks. The proposed measures should be easy to adopt and accessible to policymakers.

Surveillance of Outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 Infections at School in the Veneto Region: Methods and Results of the Public Health Response during the Second and Third Waves of the Pandemic between January and June 2021

Tonon, Michele;Zampieri, Chiara;Nicoletti, Michele;Caberlotto, Riccardo;De Siena, Francesco Paolo;Lattavo, Gaia;Minnicelli, Anil;Zardetto, Alberto;Sforzi, Benedetta;Mongillo, Michele;Baldo, Vincenzo
;
Cocchio, Silvia;
2021

Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries adopted various non-pharmacological interventions to contain the number of infections. The most often used policy was school closures. We describe the strategy adopted by the Veneto Regional Authority to contain transmission in school settings. This included a detailed school surveillance system, strict contact tracing, and maintaining school attendance with self-monitoring for symptoms whenever possible. All analyzed COVID-19 cases among children, adolescents (0-19 years old), and school staff were registered using a web-based application between 4 January 2021 and 13 June 2021. During the study period, 6272 episodes of infection in schools were identified; 87% were linked to a student index case and 13% to school staff; 69% generated no secondary cases; 24% generated one or two; and only 7% caused more than two. Our data may help to clarify the role of school closures, providing useful input for decisions in the months to come. Good practice in public health management needs tools that provide a real-time interpretation of phenomena like COVID-19 outbreaks. The proposed measures should be easy to adopt and accessible to policymakers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3458499
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