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Prospective Active National Surveillance of Preschools and Primary Schools for SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Transmission in England, June 2020: (sKIDs: COVID-19 Surveillance in School KIDs)

22 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2021

See all articles by Shamez Ladhani

Shamez Ladhani

Public Health England - Immunisation and Countermeasures Division; University of London, St. George's, Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group

Frances Baawuah

Public Health England - Immunisation and Countermeasures Division

Joanne Beckmann

East London NHS Foundation Trust

Ifeanichukwu Okike

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Shazaad Ahmad

University of Manchester - Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Joanna Garstang

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Andrew J. Brent

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Bernadette Brent

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Jemma Walker

Public Health England

Nick Andrews

Public Health England Colindale

Georgina Ireland

Public Health England

Felicity Aiano

Public Health England

Zahin Amin-Chowdhury

Public Health England - Immunisation and Countermeasures Division

Louise Letley

Public Health England - Immunisation and Countermeasures Division

Jessica S. Flood

Immunisation and Countermeasures Division, Public Health England

Samuel Jones

Public Health England - Immunisation and Countermeasures Division

Ray Borrow

Manchester Royal Infirmary, Public Health England, Vaccine Evaluation Unit

Ezra Linley

Public Health England, Manchester Royal Infirmary

Maria Zambon

Public Health England - Virus Reference Department

John Poh

Public Health England

Vanessa Saliba

Government of the United Kingdom - Immunisation and Countermeasures Division

Gayatri Amirthalingam

Public Health England - Immunisation and Countermeasures Division

Jamie Lopez Bernal

Public Health England Colindale

Kevin Brown

Public Health England

Mary E. Ramsay

Public Health England - Immunisation, Hepatitis, and Blood Safety Department

More...

Abstract

Background: Many countries re-opened schools after national lockdown but little is known about the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in educational settings. Public Health England conducted six-month prospective surveillance in primary schools across England.

Methods: The COVID-19 Surveillance in School KIDs (sKIDs) study included two arms: weekly nasal swabs for ≥4 weeks following partial reopening during the summer half-term (June to mid-July 2020) and blood sampling with nasal and throat swabs at the beginning and end of the summer half-term, and, following full reopening in September 2020, at the end of the autumn term (end-November 2020).

Results: In round 1, 12,026 participants (59.1% students, 40.9% staff) in 131 schools had 43,091 swabs taken. Weekly SARS-CoV-2 infection rates were 3.9 (1/25,537; 95% CI, 0.10-21.8) and 11.3 (2/17,554; 95% CI, 1.4-41.2) per 100,000 students and staff. At recruitment, N-antibody positivity in 45 schools was 11.1% (91/817; 95%CI, 9.2-13.5%) in students and 15.1% (209/1381; 95%CI, 13.3-17.1%) in staff, similar to local community seroprevalence. Seropositivity was not associated with school attendance during lockdown or staff contact with students. Round 2 participation was 73.7% (1,619/2,198) and only five (4 students, 1 staff) seroconverted. In round 3, when 61.9% (1,361/2,198) of round 1 participants were re-tested, seroconversion rates were 3.4% (19/562; 95%CI, 2.0-5.2) in students and 3.9% (36/930; 95%CI, 2.7-5.3) in staff.

Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 infection rates, assessed using nasal swabs for acute infection and serum antibodies for prior infection, were low following partial and full reopening of primary schools in England.

Funding Statement: This surveillance was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Declaration of Interests: None to declare.

Ethics Approval Statement: The surveillance protocol was approved by the Public Health England Research Ethics Governance Group (R&D REGG Ref: NR0209, 16 May 2020).

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19, schools, transmission, students, teachers

Suggested Citation

Ladhani, Shamez and Baawuah, Frances and Beckmann, Joanne and Okike, Ifeanichukwu and Ahmad, Shazaad and Garstang, Joanna and Brent, Andrew J. and Brent, Bernadette and Walker, Jemma and Andrews, Nick and Ireland, Georgina and Aiano, Felicity and Amin-Chowdhury, Zahin and Letley, Louise and Flood, Jessica S. and Jones, Samuel and Borrow, Ray and Linley, Ezra and Zambon, Maria and Poh, John and Saliba, Vanessa and Amirthalingam, Gayatri and Bernal, Jamie Lopez and Brown, Kevin and Ramsay, Mary E., Prospective Active National Surveillance of Preschools and Primary Schools for SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Transmission in England, June 2020: (sKIDs: COVID-19 Surveillance in School KIDs). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3766774 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3766774

Shamez Ladhani (Contact Author)

Public Health England - Immunisation and Countermeasures Division ( email )

61 Colindale Avenue
London, NW9 5EQ
United Kingdom

University of London, St. George's, Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group

United Kingdom

Frances Baawuah

Public Health England - Immunisation and Countermeasures Division

London
United Kingdom

Joanne Beckmann

East London NHS Foundation Trust ( email )

Ifeanichukwu Okike

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust ( email )

Shazaad Ahmad

University of Manchester - Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Joanna Garstang

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust ( email )

Andrew J. Brent

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust ( email )

Bernadette Brent

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust ( email )

Jemma Walker

Public Health England ( email )

Nick Andrews

Public Health England Colindale ( email )

Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London, SE1 8UG
United Kingdom

Georgina Ireland

Public Health England ( email )

Felicity Aiano

Public Health England ( email )

Zahin Amin-Chowdhury

Public Health England - Immunisation and Countermeasures Division ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Louise Letley

Public Health England - Immunisation and Countermeasures Division ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Jessica S. Flood

Immunisation and Countermeasures Division, Public Health England ( email )

Samuel Jones

Public Health England - Immunisation and Countermeasures Division

London
United Kingdom

Ray Borrow

Manchester Royal Infirmary, Public Health England, Vaccine Evaluation Unit

United Kingdom

Ezra Linley

Public Health England, Manchester Royal Infirmary ( email )

Maria Zambon

Public Health England - Virus Reference Department ( email )

Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London, SE1 8UG
United Kingdom

John Poh

Public Health England ( email )

Vanessa Saliba

Government of the United Kingdom - Immunisation and Countermeasures Division ( email )

61 Colindale Avenue
London, NW9 5EQ
United Kingdom

Gayatri Amirthalingam

Public Health England - Immunisation and Countermeasures Division ( email )

Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London, SE1 8UG
United Kingdom

Jamie Lopez Bernal

Public Health England Colindale ( email )

Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London, SE1 8UG
United Kingdom

Kevin Brown

Public Health England ( email )

Wellington House,
133-155 Waterloo Rd,
London, SE1 8UG

Mary E. Ramsay

Public Health England - Immunisation, Hepatitis, and Blood Safety Department ( email )

United Kingdom

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