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Covid-19: Complementary recommendations on strategies to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in child care and school settings

The High Council of Public Health (HCSP) clarifies its recommendations of 9 September 2020 on strategies to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in childcare facilities and schools.

The HCSP takes into consideration the fact that children are at low risk of severe disease and are poorly involved in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Transmission occurs mainly from adult to adult and from adult to child but rarely from child to child or from child to adult. Contaminations occur mainly within families or during social gatherings with a high density of people, outside schools. The wearing of masks by adults in primary school with children under 11 is mainly intended to protect children from contamination by asymptomatic adults who carry the virus. The HCSP recommends:

  • to impose systematic use of a category 1 clothe mask that meets Afnor specifications for professionals in contact with the population;
  • to consider that masks that do not meet Afnor category 1 specifications are not recommended for professionals in contact with children/students;
  • to impose on children over 11 years of age to wear a category 1 mask that preferably meets Afnor specifications.
  • not to consider an adult as “contact” if he/she wears a category 1 clothe mask meeting Afnor specifications or a medical mask when in contact with a child under 11 detected as positive case for Covid-19 and not wearing a mask.

The HCSP also provides recommendations concerning contact-tracing in child-care and school and precise when a children/student should go back to school after having been tested positive for Covid-19.

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