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SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Risk Perception, Behaviour and Preventive Measures at Schools in Berlin, Germany, during the Early Post-Lockdown Phase: A Cross-Sectional Study

1
Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 13353 Berlin, Germany
2
Clinic for Anesthesiology, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 13353 Berlin, Germany
3
Medical Directorate, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 13353 Berlin, Germany
4
Clinical Quality and Risk Management, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 13353 Berlin, Germany
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Institute of General Practice, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 13353 Berlin, Germany
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Department of Pediatric Surgery, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 13353 Berlin, Germany
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Labor Berlin—Charité Vivantes Services GmbH, 13353 Berlin, Germany
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Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, Immunology and Critical Care Medicine, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 13353 Berlin, Germany
9
Clinical Study Center, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 13353 Berlin, Germany
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Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany
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Institute of Public Health, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 13353 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Authors contributed equally.
The members of the BECOSS study group are acknowledged at the end of the article.
Academic Editors: Claire E Hastie, Frederick Ho and Michael Fleming
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2739; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052739
Received: 22 December 2020 / Revised: 20 February 2021 / Accepted: 4 March 2021 / Published: 8 March 2021
Briefly before the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Berlin, Germany, schools closed in mid-March 2020. Following re-opening, schools resumed operation at a reduced level for nine weeks. During this phase, we aimed at assessing, among students and teachers, infection status, symptoms, individual behaviour, and institutional infection prevention measures. Twenty-four primary and secondary school classes, randomly selected across Berlin, were examined. Oro-nasopharyngeal swabs and capillary blood samples were collected to determine SARS-CoV-2 infection (PCR) and specific IgG (ELISA), respectively. Medical history, household characteristics, leisure activities, fear of infection, risk perception, hand hygiene, facemask wearing, and institutional preventive measures were assessed. Descriptive analysis was performed. Among 535 participants (385 students, 150 staff), one teenager was found to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 (0.2%), and seven individuals exhibited specific IgG (1.3%). Compared to pre-pandemic times, screen time (e.g., TV, gaming, social media) increased, and the majority of primary school students reported reduced physical activity (42.2%). Fear of infection and risk perception were relatively low, acceptance of adapted health behaviors was high. In this post-lockdown period of low SARS-CoV-2 incidence in Berlin, individual and school-level infection prevention measures were largely adhered to. Nevertheless, vigilance and continued preventive measures are essential to cope with future pandemic activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Coronavirus; COVID-19; school; children; seroprevalence SARS-CoV-2; Coronavirus; COVID-19; school; children; seroprevalence
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hommes, F.; van Loon, W.; Thielecke, M.; Abramovich, I.; Lieber, S.; Hammerich, R.; Gehrke-Beck, S.; Linzbach, E.; Schuster, A.; von dem Busche, K.; Theuring, S.; Gertler, M.; Martinez, G.E.; Richter, J.; Bergmann, C.; Bölke, A.; Böhringer, F.; Mall, M.A.; Rosen, A.; Krannich, A.; Keller, J.; Bethke, N.; Kurzmann, M.; Kurth, T.; Kirchberger, V.; Seybold, J.; Mockenhaupt, F.P.; Study Group, B. SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Risk Perception, Behaviour and Preventive Measures at Schools in Berlin, Germany, during the Early Post-Lockdown Phase: A Cross-Sectional Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2739. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052739

AMA Style

Hommes F, van Loon W, Thielecke M, Abramovich I, Lieber S, Hammerich R, Gehrke-Beck S, Linzbach E, Schuster A, von dem Busche K, Theuring S, Gertler M, Martinez GE, Richter J, Bergmann C, Bölke A, Böhringer F, Mall MA, Rosen A, Krannich A, Keller J, Bethke N, Kurzmann M, Kurth T, Kirchberger V, Seybold J, Mockenhaupt FP, Study Group B. SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Risk Perception, Behaviour and Preventive Measures at Schools in Berlin, Germany, during the Early Post-Lockdown Phase: A Cross-Sectional Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(5):2739. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052739

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hommes, Franziska, Welmoed van Loon, Marlene Thielecke, Igor Abramovich, Sascha Lieber, Ralf Hammerich, Sabine Gehrke-Beck, Elisabeth Linzbach, Angela Schuster, Katja von dem Busche, Stefanie Theuring, Maximilian Gertler, Gabriela Equihua Martinez, Joachim Richter, Clara Bergmann, Alisa Bölke, Falko Böhringer, Marcus A. Mall, Alexander Rosen, Alexander Krannich, Jan Keller, Norma Bethke, Marco Kurzmann, Tobias Kurth, Valerie Kirchberger, Joachim Seybold, Frank P. Mockenhaupt, and BECOSS Study Group. 2021. "SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Risk Perception, Behaviour and Preventive Measures at Schools in Berlin, Germany, during the Early Post-Lockdown Phase: A Cross-Sectional Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 5: 2739. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052739

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