Schools to close in Copenhagen suburb after infection surge

Schools to close in Copenhagen suburb after infection surge
The youngest children were the first to return to the classroom on Monday. Photo: Anthon Unger/Ritzau Scanpix
Denmark's health authorities have yet again closed schools for the youngest children in the Copenhagen suburb of Ishøj, in a push to reduce infection in the municipality.
The children in years 0 to 4 (6 to 11 years old) had only returned to the classroom five days ago on Monday.
“The infection rate needs to go down in Ishøj Municipality, where the infection curve has seen a sharp 67 percent rise since the beginning of February,” Denmark's health minister Magnus Heunicke said in a press statement issued on Friday evening. 
“We are therefore imposing stricter measures on the municipality to make sure we act on time.” 
The children will be taught by distance learning for one week until the start of the winter break on February 19th, and will then return to school after the break is over on February 28th. 
As well as the school closures, the government is calling on all  residents in the municipality to get tested next week, regardless of symptoms, and has also set up a local task force, to work to drive down infection in the municipality. 
A hundred additional contact tracers have been sent to the municipality to identify new chains of infection. 
“This requires a joint effort from all citizens in Ishøj Municipality,” Heunicke said. “I am making a big appeal to the municipality's citizens for everyone to now work to break the municipality's infection curve.” 
According to Denmark's state broadcaster DR, over the last week 71 residents of the municipality have tested positive for coronavirus, giving it a case rate of 300 per 100,000 citizens. 
Older pupils in Denmark are still being taught by distance learning until at least February 28th. 

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