Hundreds of students were sent home from school on Friday in Germany because of a spike in coronavirus cases, only days after they reopened.
Officials in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have shut down two schools after new cases of coronavirus were confirmed only days after the northeastern German state became the country's first to resume classes.
It comes as fears of a second lockdown have erupted in Germany after new coronavirus cases reached the 1,000-a-day threshold for the first time since May.
Germany's public health agency, reported 1,045 new cases in a single day on Thursday.
Jens Spahn, German health minister, said that the increase was partly due to more tests taking place.
The dpa news agency reported Friday that a high school in Ludwigslust was shuttered after a teacher tested positive for the virus and a primary school in Graal-Mueritz has been closed for two weeks after a student was confirmed to have COVID-19.
Students at the Christophorusschule School in Rostock, northern Germany, were some of the first children in the country to return to school after the summer break amid the pandemic
Because of the short notice in the closure, classes on Friday went ahead — but took place outside, reports the DW.
The sparsely populated state has been Germany's least affected by the pandemic, with 910 positive tests for COVID-19 and 20 virus-related deaths among its 1.6 million residents.
Schools fully reopened on Monday with no mask or distancing requirements, but with children divided into fixed groups for classes in an effort to compartmentalize possible outbreaks.
The news raises concerns as Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, prepares to send its 2.5 million students back to school next week.
It has the country's strictest guidelines, including a mask requirement at all times in school buildings.
Schoolchildren in the capital of Berlin and the most-populous state of North-Rhine Westphalia are due to head back to school next week.
Authorities said there was no indication the infection had spread at either school but both were closed as a precaution.
Bettina Martin, the regional education minister for Mecklenburg-West Pomerania told the Telegraph: ‘We said that from the start there would be suspected cases in schools.
'As long as the coronavirus has not been eliminated and there is no vaccine, we have to deal with it.
‘The protection of pupils and staff comes first.'
Students in two schools Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania region were sent home on Friday
Before the summer break, schools in most regions across Germany divided classes into smaller groups so social distancing could be observed.
However, German authorities have ordered full classes to resume after parents complained that the arrangements left many children only able to attend classes for a few days a week.
Anja Karliczek, the education minister, has previously called for face masks to be worn in classes.
A study in Saxony, the only German region to resume full classes before the summer break, found no evidence schools play a major role in transmission.
Scientists from Dresden University tested 1,500 children and 500 teachers for the virus and found antibodies in only 12.
Thousands of people protested Germany's coronavirus restrictions last Saturday in a Berlin demonstration that insisted 'the end of the pandemic' has arrived.
The declaration came despite authorities voicing a growing concern about an uptick in new infections.
The country has recently battled to contain local outbreaks in various regions, and it recorded more than 1,000 new infections nationwide for the third day running on Saturday.
Germany's reported over 216,000 coronavirus cases in total, and more than 9,000 related deaths.