Denmark, Finland say they saw no increase in coronavirus after schools re-opened

Finnish schools have been back for two weeks, Danish ones since mid-April.

Updated: May 29, 2020 - 5:31pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Nordic countries of Denmark and Finland are reporting no increase in the spread of coronavirus since opening their respective schools, further suggesting that children are less likely to be sickened by COVID-19 and spread the virus. 

Denmark began sending its children back to school on April 15, just over a month after Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen issued an extensive nationwide lockdown. They were kept spaced apart in classrooms and on playgrounds, while sanitation measures such as hand-washing stations and deep-cleaning procedures were put into place. 

Similar measures were put into place in Finland to keep children from congregating in large groups. The country's education minister, Li Andersson, predicted that reopening schools would "have a minimal impact on the pandemic, but grand benefits for children."

Both countries say the pandemic has not spiked since schools re-opened. Cases and deaths in Denmark appear to have peaked in early April. Finland's infection rate appears to have peaked around the same time, though its death rate remained almost entirely flat throughout the pandemic, aside from two one-day spikes late last month. 

Research over the last several months has continuously shown that children appear to be less at risk for becoming ill from COVID-19 and spreading it to others. Researchers in Australia, as well as the World Health Organization's chief scientist, eacn have said that children as a group are largely not responsible for spreading the coronavirus. 

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