With the school year having come to an end, the evidence points to Covid protocols and controls having worked very effectively. The director general of public health in the Balearics, Maria Antònia Font, explains that of 1,175 Covid outbreaks over the past year, only seventeen were exclusively within a school environment – around 1.5%. Positive cases were detected in schools and these stayed in schools; there was no secondary transmission.
Font says that further analysis is needed, but indications are that this low number was as a result of close monitoring and of everyone sticking to the rules. “In addition, I have to congratulate the families, who have followed the recommendations and been great allies of teachers and health professionals.”
Data suggest that parents have well understood symptoms and have followed the protocols. Font acknowledges that children transmit the virus less, but she believes that there has been no other situation in which there has been a “firewall” similar to that of schools in preventing the spread of the virus.
As well as the seventeen outbreaks that were confined to schools, there were 85 in which schools were involved in so-called mixed outbreaks. But of these, just nine actually originated in schools. Fifty-five of the others started in the family environment; others had social or workplace origins. Once they were detected in schools, however, they were stopped. For Font, this is further evidence of how schools have been effective in cutting the chain of transmission.