Germany seeks to avoid school closures if COVID surges again

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s federal and state leaders agreed Thursday to try to avoid closing schools and child care facilities if there is another surge in coronavirus cases this fall.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said after meeting with the governors of Germany’s 16 states that the goal would be to prevent “another blanket closure” of schools and kindergartens like what happened during previous waves of the pandemic.

Scholz said while the situation is expected to further ease during the summer months, authorities are preparing for a possible rise in cases this fall.

Germany has seen a steady decline in newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks, but still reported almost 50,000 new infections Thursday.

The country’s disease control agency says it is increasingly recording a new subtype of the omicron variant previously detected in South Africa and Portugal.

The Robert Koch Agency has urged people over 70 to get a second booster shot of the vaccine to prevent serious illness if they contract COVID-19.


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